The Buzz on Google Buzz is Growing!

Written by on February 16, 2010

Ok. Ok. Sorry about that headline. The one thing that grabbed me real quick about Google Buzz was it’s name. I think it’s “cute” and easily remembered, but also easily made fun of or fit into different tongue twisters, variations, jokes, etc, etc. So when I have the opportunity I simply cannot resist see how many ways I can buzz around with the name Buzz. For the record: I am scared of bees. That however is another story.

Google Buzz has been making a very fast splash this past week creating a huge buzz around the interwebs. I jumped right in there on launch day and tried it out. Was easy enough to use but I didn’t like having to sign into my gmail account to use it. It was not, and still isn’t as of this writing, available on my Google Hosted account. I do not believe it ever will be. Strike one.

After a few days I signed back into my gmail to check things out (whereas had I had a client or separate app for it [at the time of launch], I might have just been there every day) and lo and behold: LOOK at all the followers!!! But WHOA there nellie … How did they find me? I didn’t know 99% of them. ACK! Stalkers! EEK! Strike two.

And where oh where is the stand alone client?? Why can’t I integrate it into my IM clients? Where is the FF plugin? WHY do I have to sign into gmail to use it?! Strike three.

So I turned my back on it until today. I figured I would let the buzz die down a little. (see how I do that wink, wink, nudge, nudge…) and soon Google would make changes (they did) and user’s would start to make requests (they did) and that there would be apps and plugins, and API playgrounds galore (there are).

On Saturday, four days after Buzz launch, Google posted a bunch of great changes and product manager Todd Jackson had this to say:

“It’s been an exciting and challenging week for the Buzz team. We’ve been getting feedback via the Gmail help forums and emails from friends and family, and we’ve also been able to do something new: read the buzz about Buzz itself,” Jackson wrote in a blog post. “We quickly realized that we didn’t get everything quite right. We’re very sorry for the concern we’ve caused and have been working hard ever since to improve things based on your feedback. We’ll continue to do so.”

Most importantly that adjusted that buzz-killer: auto-follow. That’s where my biggest concern about Google Buzz was.

Jackson:

“For the tens of millions of you who have already started using Buzz, over the next couple weeks we’ll be showing you a similar version of this new start-up experience to give you a second chance to review and confirm the people you’re following.”

Then there was the dreaded “Let’s display ALL your content to everyone!” fear. They squashed that too:

“Second, Buzz will no longer connect your public Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader shared items automatically. Just to be clear: Buzz only automatically connected content that was already public, so if you had previously shared photos in an “Unlisted” album or set your Google Reader shared items as “Protected,” no one except the people you’d explicitly allowed to see your stuff has been able to see it. But due to your feedback Buzz will no longer connect these sites automatically.”

Last but not least, they added a “Buzz” tab to the settings in your gmail account, so you could disable it all together if you didn’t want it.

Those are some great, QUICK strides by Google addressing the angry buzzing over Google Buzz. With the addition of the API and the developers Google Group for Buzz, I’m expecting some pretty cool things from this latest product of Google after all.

In addition to all of the above, I had the pleasure of listening to Gary Vaynerchuk on an Audible broadcast at Facebook, and asked him what he thought about Buzz. To paraphrase his response, he really “thinks they have something there. That the people behind it are sharp and we can expect to see some great things down the line.” I can believe that now.

Overall, I am very interested to see what Google Buzz has up it’s sleeves. Google Wave never really showed it’s silver lining to me – but I think Google Buzz has definite potential in the Social Media and Marketing realm.

If you want to connect with me on Google Buzz, hit me up at weberika at gmail.com.

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