“Hey, it’s way more better than status updates“
That’s the implication, if not quite the words used in today’s video introducing Google Buzz.
What’s a Google Buzz, you ask? Well, as Google continues to embrace social media, the company is looking for connections between people much as it looked for connections between webpages when it originally began indexing the web a decade ago. Buzz is a hybrid of Google Wave and Facebook comments with a dash of Twitter thrown in. Having just logged in to Google Wave for the second time this year and again seeing nothing, I’m reminded of how the cool can often seem desirable until we actually attain it.
Linking email to social media seems like a cool idea, and maybe this interactivity will help Google Buzz succeed where Google Wave has yet to catch on. Just like any other social media list, Google Buzz will likely require grooming and maintenance. My son’s history teacher probably doesn’t care to be linked to me in a social graph. Google previously dealt with such issues by putting addresses labeled “friends” or “family” into a social graph. But again because I code my cousin’s husband as family doesn’t mean that he cares what I think about anything related to social media so a little maintenance will be in order.
Whether Google can suck even more users into the Gmail vortex and away from Facebook remains to be seen. By all accounts, the company is seeing Twitter become the real-time search engine of relevance while Facebook becomes the Internet’s playground and chat room. That leaves Google to be the library — not a bad place to be, but the folks in Mountain View want a little more buzz than that.