Buzz Kill? : A closer look at you-know-what

After my previous post, I logged onto Gmail with a huge sense of anticipation and excitement, to play with Google Buzz.

As promised, my contacts with Gmail accounts were automatically added – I didn’t need to find and follow them and I could unfollow anyone that I did not want to Buzz with.  Conveniently (?), recent contacts with email accounts other than Gmail, were also listed/recommended for me to follow or not.

I was rather keen to start buzzing, so I contacted one of my Tweeple to discuss merits and limitations of Buzz.  Immediate reactions from both of us were that it is muuuuch easier to use than Google Wave.  Then again, according to Google, Wave is The Future.  After a couple more buzzers, neither of us could figure out why we would Buzz rather than GTalk.

While writing this post, I saw that someone, whom I had blocked from my Gmail account (I thought, for life), had started following me on Buzz.  This situation was making me feel a little distressed.  See, she is a bit of a stalker and I did not want to have any further contact with her.  That is why I had originally blocked her.  I tried to find out how to block her from my Buzz profile as well, but could not find it anywhere!  This is also where I found out how to connect with the rest of the Buzzers(?) on the Buzzersphere(?).  I did a search in Buzz, but no results relevant to my problem.  Eventually, I logged out of Gmail completely and logged back in.  Only then did I get the notification that the stalker was following me.  (Creepy).  On the notification that came up, I had the option of following her back or in this case, blocking her.  Phew!

I experimented with linking Twitter to Buzz, didn’t like it and then had no idea how to unlink Twitter. Ack!  I hope I figure this out really soon.

Things I learnt from Buzz:

  • it’s easier to use than Wave
  • I don’t really need it for chatting
  • it allows other people to join in conversations you and someone else is having – no idea how that works nor why you would want it
  • you can unfollow and block other buzzers
  • we will be learning a whole new vocabulary (Buzz words?) and coining new terminology/phrases soon
  • there is potential for online help guides, marketing and social media strategies – I’m sure these have started sprouting already
  • You can turn the whole thing off by the click of the mouse (possibly it’s best feature) – look at the very bottom of the Gmail page.  It’s a little link in fine print.  You can miss it.

Despite all the buzz around Buzz, statistics show that Twitter is still growing rapidly.  So how does Buzz differ from Twitter?:

  • Buzzes (buzzings?) can have more than 140 chars (Twitter win!)
  • You don’t need hashtags.  Total buzz kill (pun intended) because hashtags are fun
  • No trending topics? How would we know what to tweet… oops!… Buzz about?
  • It’s not so easy to connect with a community of Buzzers.  Or is it and I just couldn’t figure it out?
  • Twitter doesn’t integrate with your email client (another Twitter win)

As Buzz itself is a latecomer to social media, it may appeal to late-adopters who may find it easier to use a social media app within their email client.  For me, I’ll be using the ‘turn off’ option and killing Buzz.  For now.

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