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Is There Anyone New to Find on Google Buzz?

Now that Google has fixed some of the most egregious privacy issues present when Google Buzz first launched last week, I’ve let my account go live and started taking the new social-media service out for a spin. It’s a service with potential, but I’m questioning whether that potential really lies in Gmail’s enormous user base, from which Buzz draws its pool of potential buzzers, as some surmise.

Why? Because there’s no one in my Gmail address book whom I want to follow in the social mediasphere to whom I am not already connected via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. My contacts are in my address book because I already have a history of contacting them. And since that’s the case, it’s a no-brainer to assume I’ve already sidled up to them via an appropriate social media platform–Facebook for my inner circle, Twitter for the suburbs of same, and LinkedIn for my colleagues and potential employers.

Who’s left to connect with for the first time on Buzz? And what value would my existing connections get from following me on Buzz versus the services where they already connect with me?

As for the first question, I don’t know anyone worth adding into my personal social mediasphere who’s left in my Gmail records. Well, not anyone who isn’t a total luddite living life without a cell phone, bank card, or voicemail who probably only created their Gmail account in order to complain to their favorite store that they stopped taking paper checks. Do I really want to try and add these people to my network? Do you?

Second, like most others out there, I’ve connected all my existing blog and social-media accounts that Google will let me connect to Buzz. So no one will be reading on Buzz anything from me that doesn’t already appear elsewhere. That’s as it should me. You can’t import Buzz updates into Twitter or Facebook, so why would I make Buzz my primary social-media platform right now?

I think the real value in Buzz lies in the ability for users to send updates that are longer than 140 characters (seriously, Twitter, it’s time), browse conversations by thread, and use multimedia content. But none of that is innovate and all of it appears elsewhere in the social mediasphere.

So I’ll keep playing with Buzz for the novelty of it. But if anyone else can suggest what the killer feature of this service is, I’m all ears.

Categories: Social Media

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Michael Thaddeus Doyle

I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.

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5 replies

  1. Like you, Mike, I couldn’t find anyone in my address book I wanted to follow that I don’t already follow elsewhere. So why bother? I disabled Buzz (using the instructions you linked to), and I’ll keep it disabled until they give me a really good reason to try them again — the so-called “killer app.”

  2. That’s a good feature, I agree. It can get confusing though when suddenly there are a dozen collapsed conversation threads for different twitter discussions. I’m thinking there’s a better way to represent the timeline in Buzz than just a big, long scroll. Tabs maybe, I don’t know. But something seems missing to make the timeline cleaner.

  3. so far, the only value add I’ve found is the threaded conversations that pop up around a single tweet syndicated from twitter to buzz.

  4. Some in my Buzz feed (click through to go there) have suggested Buzz may replace Friendfeed. Others have mirrored Problogger Darren Rowse in suggesting Buzz allow users to choose for themselves which content to follow from another person’s Buzz feed. I agree with both, how about you?

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