Google Buzz Misconceptions

Armand Morin published his first impressions on Google Buzz, here’s my response since his blog was not accepting comments at the time I saw his post.

UPDATE: 9:02 AZ time Armand’s support team got right back to me just now and has enabled comments on his blog :]

Armand you made some valid points but I have to correct few. I know you are in Australia too so who knows what version of Buzz you are getting out of Google data centers down under. So, Armand, you said:

Armand: Allow People to Buzz From Their Profile Page. Right now you can only comment.

You have a “What are you doing” type box right at the top of Buzz. You can post links, pictures and text AND you can post them as public or private.

Click image to see full size.

Google is changing Buzz every day, features come and go, just stay with it, it will settle down.

Armand: Create a “Follow My Buzz” Button so people can add it to their websites

You might notice I have a “Follow Me On Buzz” button to the right of this post….

The button is on your Google profile. You may have missed this because you have be to logged into a Google account that is not yours to see it.

A follow on Buzz button in that case can be a link to the profile of your choice.

Armand: Outbound communication with Twitter and Facebook at a minimum.

I believe comments only go back to a Twitter profile if you respond with the @ sign but I have not tested this yet.

There is no communication with Facebook. The only Facebook aggregation you get is from FriendFeed.

Facebook decided on this policy, not Google. Facebook decided to go it alone with Microsoft’s support when they took Microsoft’s $220 million investment in 2008 and decided to bar Google Friend Connect from Facebook.

Armand: Allow Custom Profile Pages

That is about as custom as you get. Or maybe I misunderstood what you are calling a profile page.

If you want to find your Google profile page the link is and if you have not created one Google will ask you to do so.

Armand: Make a “Followers” image list. Like Twitter has on right hand side.

Right there in Buzz, just look for the link “Followers” at the top of Buzz. It will open an overlay with your Followers and you can follow in return from the as well. Or remove pesky unwanted followers too.

Click image to see full size.

Armand: Allow you to make your whole Buzz Account PRIVATE. Twitter does this and so does even MySpace.

Good point. Bet they are working on that now. Google has been very receptive to suggestions so far. There should be a better setting page for Buzz.

Armand: Create separate buzz page for users as well. This will make it easier to use even if you are NOT in Gmail.

You can do that Armand, here is the Buzz page for this post…. You can easily post Buzz comments right there too.

No, Gmail is the key to this thing. That is one reason Google Wave is not used as highly as I predicted, no Gmail integration.

The idea is that Gmail is your communications platform. With Gchat, Gmail and now a social dashboard all in Gmail it is “One Stop Shopping” for all your communications. That is why it is in Gmail.

Armand: Not force you to see all Buzz comments or be notified of Buzz Comments. I subscribed to Mashable’s Buzz feed and it sucked. I like Mashable it’s just they have a huge amount of comments so it wasn’t a good experience for me, not their fault Google’s fault.

Jack Humphrey and I both agreed, it is a bad idea to follow people like Pete Cashmore (Mashable) in Google Buzz, we both added and removed his profile. If following Pete Cashmore sucks, that’s Pete’s fault for Tweeting every single post thru a robot, not Google’s.

If I tweeted ever single action I took online I would suck too, but I am still trying to see how I can blame my sucking on Google. Seems to have worked for Pete here.

Armand: Michel Fortin stated that it [Buzz] was because of WAVE not doing as well as they had hoped.

Buzz has nothing to do with Google Wave. Wave is for private or public discussion, collaboration and rich social applications.

Buzz is simply the next step in Google Social Search.

Buzz is to keep up with your REAL friends activity on YouTube, Twitter and FriendFeed. Two very different things.

Why do I say REAL friends? Because Buzz is based on your Google Contacts. If you add me to your Google Contacts and I add you then we will see each other in Buzz.

But like I said, making your Google profile URL public will get you more followers and give you the chance to follow others you may not have discovered yet.

You might also notice Google Social Search is doing the same thing as Buzz but in Google results.

So again I do have to point out Google Buzz is not something they made up yesterday, it is part of something much bigger and has been in development for years. They started writing the code for Google Wave in early 2007, over 3 years ago.

This is why Google never launched a Facebook clone, they don’t need to. Think Google Friend Connect, YouTube, Google Reader, Google Wave and now Google Buzz.

And before you mention Orkut, that was to deliver advertising to India and Brazil where Orkut has been king for years. Orkut has nothing to do with the US market and never was intended to.

When you look at the much larger Google picture like I do, you can see that this is a much more rich social set of applications than Facebook ever could be.

I originally wrote this as a comment on Armand’s blog which is where it belonged but as I said, his blog was not accepting comments at the time. Hope this helps you all with Google Buzz.

And you can follow me on Google Buzz right here….

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

12 comments on “Google Buzz Misconceptions

  1. Chris,

    Thanks for the analysis. I see where Google is going, but so far, I’m just playing with Google Buzz.

    I think as the tool matures it will become much more useful.

    Default expanded comments alone makes it unwieldy.


  2. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the Facebook world because the community at my local boarding stables uses it to organize events. The facebook interface does not impress me with its (lack of) facility or its (lack of) utility. I can never be sure if the information is making it out, or making it in. Suddenly, not just my fellow boarders at the stables, but also distant family members and old forgotten friends can latch onto me from who-knows-where and clutter my news feed with random tripe about games or being a “fan” of some useless popularity magnet site, when all I care about is horse show results and drill practice attendance. I really don’t care to talk to any of these people online. I would be relieved if Google Buzz could somehow cut out all this crap.

  3. @Doug McIsaac,

    I agree the expanding and collapsing of Google Buzz posts can be disorienting but I still run a 19 inch monitor as my main viewing source.

    In these days of widescreen laptops the “Above the fold” page area is much less.

    So I can see the reason for this and I can also see that this is disorienting for many.

    I am about to buy an old 6:9 Vista lappy and reformat it to Ubuntu just for that reason. I hate widescreen lappys for real document work.

    Good to hear from you again as always Doug!

  4. If there is something I don’t like it is the way Buzz invaded my “email account” privacy with posts that comes from nowhere from people I didn’t know.

    I’m not sure I’ll keep it or turn it off yet.


  5. @Val,

    I was glad to see you and Jack as one of the first freinds I saw in Google Buzz.

    Two things come to mind here….

    First of all, if you are seeing people in Buzz that you don’t want to see, unfollow them or if you really want to get rid of them, delete them from you Google Contacts.

    Second, if you hate Buzz updates in Gmail, set a filter to automatically delete the emails on sight. It is under “More actions” and then select “Filter messages like these…”

    Works just fine.

    However if I have commented on a Buzz item then I am interested enough to follow that thread and I WANT to get those updates.

    What do you think about those solutions Val?

  6. I have not had time to look at Buzz. It seems that Facebook is the giant now. However we all know that Google is Golden, and they can definitely kill giants.

    I will be back to visit the comments here.

  7. Hey Chris,
    I’ve been waiting to get the inside straight scoop on Buzz… knew you’d step up and deliver.

    While it’s kinda scary to turn all my online integration over to the “G”, I like the GMail connection.

    Plus, if I never have to visit or use Facebook, I won’t be disappointed. Screw Zuck.

    So far what I’m seeing here on Buzz is extended, in-depth conversations, especially with guys like Darren Rowse, Chris Brogan, Scoble, Danny Sullivan. Looks like it extends the conversation on blog comments, and spreads your blog a bit wider.

    Also, good call on Mashable… I dumped them from my Reader awile ago… too much. Figure if they shoot something out good, I’ll catch it in my Alerts.

    Sure will be interesting to see where Buzz heads aftwer the initial Buzz dies down…


  8. hi Chris

    Thanks for your super heads up as usual. I have been playing with “Buzz” for a few days now and I seems to be working well for me. at least I seem to have more control over what i receive and dont want other to see which is good.

  9. Hi!

    I’m trying to play with google buzz for a few days, but the accessibility of this service isn’t as good as it should be. As I’m blind, it’s not so easy for me to keep the overview, and I often can’t find the buttons I need. But I found a workaround for this: use your google dashboard (you can find this on your google account page) for editing the connected sites and followers.

    Hope Google will it make possible to integrate the youtube, orkut, twitter … profiles into one single google profile, so that friend and contacts can be managed from one single place.

    I already know, Chris, that you don’t know much about Google’s plans concerning the accessibility issue, but I hope Google will work on this in the future.


  10. Seems as if 20-10 is the year we harness and control the use of all of these social media tools. Expect winners and losers to emerge as the year goes on. I’ve gone ahead with a FanPage and built a custom welcome screen that ties to my website CRM – then I’m inviting the over 3300 ‘friends’ to become fans. Some will – some won’t. No problem either way. Step three is to unfriend everyone that I don’t have real relationships with. I like your suggestion Chris that Buzz is where you follow the updates of ‘real’ friends because they’re also in your gmail. Slowly this mess is sorting itself out.

  11. Pingback: Why I like Google Buzz…. | Internet Marketing For the Rest of Us

  12. MAJDY FERRAH on said:

    i want to find freinds!:’c