Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Google Creates Some Buzz

Google is well on it's way to world domination. With products ranging from cellphones to search engines to GPS systems, it was only a matter of time before they tried their hand at social media...

Enter Google Buzz: the social media supplement integrated into Gmail

With Buzz, Google was hoping to create a platform which could unite all the existing forms of social media into one convenient stream. Essentially, it provides the same appeal as the Facebook Newsfeed page; you choose which friends you would like to receive updates from, and then Buzz sorts them into convenient columns where you can flip through your friends' lives like a newspaper.

Not everyone is responding as well as Google had hoped, though. Features like auto-follow were seen to be a threat to privacy rights. Small design oversights like non-collapsible comment threads and no choronological sorting option seemed uncharacteristic for Google.

With a plethora of updates and patches on the way, I don't doubt that Google will fix most of these issues. The question is, why was it rolled out at all? Google has one of the largest pools of beta testers in America, and has a history of going through copious testing before rolling out its products. In my opinion, Google broke one of the cardinal rules of sales: Never release a product that's similar to another product in the market unless your product has something new and important to bring to the table. I'm a huge Google supporter, but Buzz has a lot more kinks to work out before it can compete with the Facebook Newsfeed.

To try Google Buzz yourself, just create a Gmail account and log-in. You'll see the "Buzz" link on the left-hand sidebar, and Google has a neat little video to walk you through the set-up process. I've been using it for the last few days, and so far it seems to be a well-functioning, well-designed addition (with the exception of the annoyances I listed earlier.) Buzz may have had a rocky start with some critics, but I haven't lost faith yet... Because if there's one thing I know about Google, it's that they don't like being 2nd place.

Google Creates Some Buzz

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