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Two Scoops of Buzz 178

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the is-this-over-yet dept.
Lots of Buzz buzz is still running through the internets yet, so here's a bit more of it, just in case you aren't burnt out yet. Google has added a one-button disable option to totally remove the system from Gmail. I'm sure someone there sure wishes that had been on by default. This is partially in response to a class action complaint and follows earlier cleanup efforts as well as an apology for auto-follow. Since there is no Facebook interaction, I still wonder what traction they will get. But maybe this means the end of Twitter.
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Two Scoops of Buzz

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  • I just ignore the bugger. No need for me to nuke. Unless Google has added really cool special effects.
    • Unless Google has added really cool special effects.

      The most notable bell/whistle (aside from smoove integration with GMail) is Aardvark. I posted about my experiences with it a couple days ago [slashdot.org] and have since answered more questions. My interactions with the people have been surprisingly pleasant and positive ... and surprisingly helpful! My interactions with the chat bot (aardvark-g201) have been frustrating at best. AI is in a sorry state if this is what they have to offer me. It's basically like trying to interact with a chat bot that offers you shel

      • Google is Telescreen. With better PR.

        No thanks, O'Brian!

      • Re:Aardvark (Score:5, Informative)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @01:29PM (#31187686) Homepage Journal
        I don't have any problem with Buzz showing up. I run the 'older version' of Gmail...

        If you are on the newest version, just scroll to the bottom of the screen and click older version. This is not the HTML only version, but the one just before the new interface upgrade. I find it responsive, less cluttered...and no buzz.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:22PM (#31186656) Homepage

    Twitter's power is that you dont have to go there to use it or update it. I've got 90,000,000 twitter apps to choose from on EVERY platform. Hell even my home automation gear from crestron has twitter interoperability.

    Twitter has critical mass and support on everything.. Buzz has none of that currently.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mitchell314 (1576581)
      Not to mention there's less motivation to go to a new social network when there are existing ones already set up with many people using it. I highly doubt Google can go far here.
      • by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:31PM (#31186772) Homepage Journal

        Yeah, Google didn't stand a chance against the likes of Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, their spunky little upstart 'gmail' thing took forEVER just to get out of beta! Can't say that anyone was really attracted to it, what with all the established options out there. Who will take it seriously?!!

        • I killed for my gmail invite... I mean, I would have killed. Yeah, that is it. No skeletons in my closet, no sirree.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Yup look at how Orkut has DECIMATED facebook and Myspace!

        • You forgot the "LAME!!!" ending. In the spirit of the Olympics, we'll have to deduct a point from your final moderation score for that gaff.

        • You don't need to get your friends to join Google Mail to send them messages from Google Mail. If you'd actually read and considered the OP, instead of jumping into the discussion with sarcastic comments, you might have understood this.
          • by jeffmeden (135043)

            Motivation is as motivation does; it is completely wrong to say 'why, no one would go to a new service when the old service works just fine!', regardless of the techniques used by the service. When something better comes along, people move without looking back. I am not saying Buzz is that better thing, but it is stupid to assume that just because existing things are popular now, that something else can't be in the future.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Not to mention there's less motivation to go to a new social network when there are existing ones already set up with many people using it. I highly doubt Google can go far here.

        Eh thats what people thought with MySpace - but look at Facebook now.

        Google, being the power house that it is, could easily build the apps and operability that Twitter has. Except for ONE snag:

        I think the biggest thing holding it back will be its competitors. Given that Google has broken into the Smartphone market with the Droid and all that - I doubt Apple is going to approve any apps that let you update your Buzz.

        You can make Buzz a billion times better than twitter and implement new features, but if the

        • by N1AK (864906)

          I think the biggest thing holding it back will be its competitors. Given that Google has broken into the Smartphone market with the Droid and all that - I doubt Apple is going to approve any apps that let you update your Buzz.

          You think Apple are going to combat the Google Droid by intentionally blocking the ability of the iPhone to do something people who buy it may want? If I was Apple I would want to ensure that updating Buzz on the iPhone was better than doing it on the Droid ;)

        • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @01:47PM (#31188052) Homepage

          Google, being the power house that it is, could easily build the apps and operability that Twitter has. Except for ONE snag:

          Google's notoriously short attention span.

        • by vitaflo (20507)

          You can make Buzz a billion times better than twitter and implement new features, but if the iPhone holds a reasonable market share, and the iPhone doesn't let you update it, it's not likely to take off.

          I'm not sure what you're talking about, iPhone integration was built into Buzz from day 1. In fact it's better than normal Buzz because if you let it use your geolocation you can see other buzzes near your current vicinity on Google maps.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Machtyn (759119)
        I've seen this facebook group that states they are a group of people who are going to drop Facebook once it starts charging $2.95 per month to use it. I don't know if there is anything to this, but if Fb starts to charge for use, then Buzz will have all sorts of traction.
        • by swb (14022)

          Most people I know would drop it if it wasn't free. I've only used it for a year and I'm already kind of over it.

          I'd guess that they would start charging the for-profit users first, then some of the groups, and so on.

          But they really rely on the network effect, and anything that causes them to lose users will have a cascading effect as people quit using it.

        • "once it starts charging $2.95 per month to use it" FUD or hilarious. If Facebook charged $1 once it would be gone in a matter of hours.
        • by Andy Dodd (701)

          That group (and all of the similar groups) is basically a bunch of idiots that fell victim to a rumor. Congratulations on falling for it along with them.

          As other posters have said, charging for Facebook, even a tiny amount, would instakill it. Look at what Pay-to-Play did to the online game Planetarion back around 2002-2003...

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        I'm fairly positive this is why they had autofollow. This leverages existing social networks to "jumpstart" a new one.

        I don't get why autofollow was so bad - you only got autofollowed when you created your account, and at that point, you have no content on your feed. What's the big deal? The people following you see zilch until you post some content to Buzz - if you don't want someone seeing that update, block/remove them from your followers before you start using Buzz.

        Gmail was able to take on the likes

        • by tftp (111690)

          I don't get why autofollow was so bad - you only got autofollowed when you created your account, and at that point, you have no content on your feed. What's the big deal?

          Indeed, when tens of millions of people suddenly find a new software in their familiar email client they instantly know all there is to know how it works and what to do and what not to do. Even though none of that was explained to them. One of my friends, who also has a Gmail account, posted a test Buzz, and lots of people saw it (and me

    • by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:35PM (#31186820)

      No, Buzz has something better... Interoperability with -every- site out there. If the site has an RSS feed for your updates, you can bring them into Buzz really easily. If it doesn't, the site can choose to integrate more directly with Buzz.

      The only thing I've found lacking in Buzz is the ability to find and follow random people. With twitter, when I'm learning Japanese, I can watch the live twitter global feed and find people posting interesting things in Japanese and follow them. Buzz doesn't have that... Yet.

    • by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:37PM (#31186858) Journal

      And all Google has to do is create a unique Buzz email address to send updates to (like Facebook has recently done), and you get instant support on any platform capable of sending email.

      When Facebook came out with the unique email address to upload images and update status, I dumped my Blackberry Facebook app and I just use email now. So at this point, switching to Buzz would be a matter of changing the email address my pictures and updates go to.

      This would make new Buzz apps for platforms trivial to implement.

      • Buzz by email (Score:3, Informative)

        by DragonWriter (970822)

        And all Google has to do is create a unique Buzz email address to send updates to (like Facebook has recently done), and you get instant support on any platform capable of sending email.

        You can post Buzz by email to buzz@gmail.com from your gmail account. So as long as your gmail account is setup in your mail client, this is in place now.

    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      Buzz uses Twitter as a data feed. This is convenient for Buzz, but isn't gonna make Twitter disappear any time soon.
    • Buzz doesn't support Blackberry* yet. Not everyone has a Android or iPhone. So I would say that until The Google decides to support Blackberry with a native app, then there is no option but to ignore it.

      *Appearently Opera on BB runs the Javascript needed, but it is a hack/cludge to d/l Opera and bypass all the warnings needed to BUZZ.

      ** I wonder if we're gonna call people who "Buzz" .... wait for it ... Buzzards ;)

    • Shhh... Just all act like Twitter is dying anyway, and hope the rumor will catch enough fire to get messages on Twitter going on. Until they either die in a massive flamewar, or enough arguments come up so that most Twitterers will enter our reality and start to hate Twitter. (Which also means its dead.)

      It’s the information wars. You are an Internet veteran. Act like one. :)

      Twitter will die, because even the tiniest flaws will become huge unfathomable mountains of madness, if you give them time to gro

    • by ajs (35943)

      Twitter's power is that you dont have to go there to use it or update it.

      No, Twitter's power is that it provides a platform for popular people to communicate with their followers/fans/supporters. Twitter's draw these days is that it's a great place for anyone from a mayor to a moviestar to a CEO to the president to say whatever they like.

      Buzz is great for me, but when celebrities use it, their posts become spam magnets because the popularity of their post is shared with the responders. Twitter so loosely couples tweets with responses that there is little or no sharing of the pop

    • Google buzz is useless until it adds a "Please Rob Me" function.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:23PM (#31186672)

    While a lot of people are using this fiasco as evidence that Google's a bunch of techies who don't understand users, I can't really believe that it was totally unforseen and accidental. Google made a conscious decision to leverage their existing social graph of webmail users by, as automatically as possible, turning it into an actual social-network graph. If they hadn't done that, Buzz would probably not have jump-started very quickly, but now it has a huge built-in userbase. Even if a bunch of people disable it now, they're probably still way ahead in terms of total users than where they would've been if they had played nice.

    So may turn out they did know what they were doing, at least from a business perspective.

    • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:35PM (#31186826)

      While a lot of people are using this fiasco as evidence that Google's a bunch of techies who don't understand users, I can't really believe that it was totally unforseen and accidental.

      At best, I view this as more evidence that Google isn't mature enough to be the 800 Lb gorilla of the Internet.

      At worse, I see this as evidence that Google can be just as much as a monopoly threat as Microsoft was on the PC.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209)

      Actually, I think it -would- have. Have you seen the clamor for Google invites? Any time a new service comes out, even if it's going to be meh, people go nuts to get invites. Google Wave, for instance... Does anyone actually still use that? It was all the rage when nobody had invites.

      • by xirusmom (815129)

        Yes. I do . Google wave is great for writing papers and for collaborative projects.
        Simple enough that you can get projects started quickly with a bunch of people who never used it before.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        Problem was that the invites came out too slowly. People would often get an invite and have one friend that used it, while the rest of their friends didn't.

        They'd stop using it, and then their friends would join it without even knowing they were a user. I know I haven't logged into Wave in ages because no one I knew used it, and it didn't autoleverage my existing Google social networks like Buzz does.

        • by slim (1652)

          About 15 years ago, I introduced staff email to a high school. I had exactly the same chicken-and-egg problem as Wave does now. You'd get clusters of happy email users. But for people who weren't in such a cluster, there was no point checking your email because there'd never be any there; and there'd be no point sending email, because none of your peers checked it. And since both ends of the potential conversation were following the same pattern, there was a negative feedback loop.

          Overlaps with existing com

      • I use Wave and I also find it very useful, but I have to admit, most of the people I've wanted to use it with (and that I've sent invites too) are not on board.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        I played with Wave for a few hours, but I never figured out what it was *for*. I tried making a Wave for Godzilla fans, but then it turns out you can't just publish it to everybody like a website. (Or maybe you can and I never figured out how?)

        Also, it worked horribly in Firefox, bogging down to a standstill after only a few hours. Oh well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      Indeed. And leveraging Gmail shows they've learned that when critical mass is required, their usual method of using limited invites doesn't work. That, and Google's notoriously short attention span, is what killed Orkut.

      Facebook succeeded because they built a critical mass in a target rich environment (college students) and when enough students had graduated to form a critical mass in the 'real world', they opened it up to all comers. Twitter succeeded because it melded the 'pure' version of Face

      • by slim (1652)

        Is Orkut dead?

        It's still up and running. My impression was that Brazilians lapped it up and continue to do so.

        In fact one of the things that drove English speakers away from Orkut was that there was so much Portugese being posted in the groups.

    • Totally agree. This was a real "Facebook" move by Google (and I mean that in its full pejorative sense). They basically decided that it's better / easier to apologize afterwards than ask permission beforehand. The fact is, by just releasing this for one day with the flawed privacy they got 90% of people who use gmail into buzz with all their email contacts as a default social graph. The speed with which they responded to the howls about privacy (which many are praising) actually makes me cynical that t

  • I've got a google account for using analytics and other stuff but I'm not using it for email. That means that I seldom need to log into google and in turn that means that buzz basically doesn't exist for me. I don't think I'm alone. Furthermore I can search tweets even without logging it to twitter. That's much more convenient.
    • Furthermore I can search tweets even without logging it to twitter. That's much more convenient.

      You can search buzz (and tweets, and some other stuff) without logging into Buzz, too; all you have to do is use Google's main search engine; the live-updating "latest results for..." section includes tweets, buzz, etc.

  • The strength of buzz is it's too convenient NOT to use. I think a lot of people prefer facebook in general, but when they've got buzz there all ready to go it's easy to just throw something out there. It's also a solid alternative for people who for various reasons can't or don't log into facebook from work.
    • by mackil (668039)

      The strength of buzz is it's too convenient NOT to use. It's also a solid alternative for people who for various reasons can't or don't log into facebook from work.

      That's it exactly. I don't use either Facebook or Twitter just because of the hassle and my own time constraints. I do use Gmail however, and have loved Buzz as a quick and easy way to see what all my friends and family are up to. I don't need to log into anything else, it's all right there with my email. I may be in the minority, but I love Buzz for the convenience alone.

  • it's 140 characters limit is great to avoid loads of bullshit. One of the greatest things of twitter is precisely that; it forces you to go to the point.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      it's 140 characters limit is great to avoid loads of bullshit.

      Wait, I thought we were talking about Twitter? Isn't bullshit mostly what it comprises of?

      One of the greatest things of twitter is precisely that; it forces you to go to the point.

      Have you even seen Twitter? "Getting to the point" is exactly the opposite of what people do. Page after page of "retweets" and textual back-slapping.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jadin (65295)

      it's 140 characters limit is great to avoid loads of bullshit. One of the greatest things of twitter is precisely that; it forces you to go

    • How is that new edition of Newspeak [wikipedia.org] coming along?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lochnessie (1291986)
      from most of the tweets I've seen, 140 characters is plenty of room for bullshit.
    • by bl8n8r (649187)

      > it forces you to go to the point.

      I've yet to see the majority of twitter content to be relevant to anyone but the author. Until the percentage of useful twitter content gets above 5%, getting to the point is pointless.

  • At the moment, there are a number of things holding buzz back from widespread usage:

    * buzz has a userbase /ceiling/: the number of gmail users; the userbase may be large but it's closed and entry is a large hurdle for many
    * complicating the adoption is the number of those gmail users whose friends also use gmail and would be likely to use buzz, lowering the actual ceiling further
    * when people see that not many of their friends are using it, but are/have been using other services, that makes buzz adopt
    • by dangitman (862676)

      * buzz has a userbase /ceiling/: the number of gmail users; the userbase may be large but it's closed and entry is a large hurdle for many

      Gmail is closed? Since when? It's just as easy to sign up for as Facebook or any of the others, so how is entry a hurdle?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by msbmsb (871828)
        Not 'closed' in that sense. Closed as in finite (in comparison to the other services where anyone with any email address can use). To be able to use buzz, one needs to sign up for another email account, something not many people will do easily.
        • by dangitman (862676)

          Closed as in finite (in comparison to the other services where anyone with any email address can use).

          Your meaning is a bit opaque. You can sign up for gmail even if you have other email addresses, it doesn't cancel your existing email accounts.

          To be able to use buzz, one needs to sign up for another email account, something not many people will do easily.

          Why would they be less willing to do that than sign up for Facebook or whatever? I also don't see any evidence suggesting that people are reluctant to sign up for email accounts - look how successful hotmail was, for example. People will sign up for just about anything you put a username and password on.

      • by jDeepbeep (913892)

        Gmail is closed? Since when? It's just as easy to sign up for as Facebook or any of the others, so how is entry a hurdle?

        Early '07 is when it opened its doors to the unwashed masses, iirc.

    • buzz has a userbase /ceiling/: the number of gmail users; the userbase may be large but it's closed and entry is a large hurdle for many

      This is a ceiling for the Buzz application, but not so much for the underlying social network; since Buzz uses open protocols (and especially if Google rolls out the richer set of open-protocol interfaces they've said they plan to), "who Buzz users can connect to with Buzz" is a much bigger universe than "who actually uses Buzz".

      I think Google likely sees Buzz and its relat

      • by msbmsb (871828)
        yep, that's why I said "at the moment". buzz feels pretty isolated right now, we'll see how/if it opens up.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:49PM (#31187012)

    What exactly is twitter doing that couldn't be done with existing blogging sites that have email updates? Nothing says you have to write 2k words on your blog post, you could write 120 characters on any blogging site and do the same thing.

    I do like the idea of pushing towards more open standards. Email is a standard everyone can agree with, everyone can interoperate with. I can send mail from my phone to someone on a mac or a pc or linux. I can swap out clients if I find one I like more. I do like the idea of transitioning these sorts of services to protocols and then you're selecting the provider you want based on how that protocol is implemented.

    I see value in what Facebook does even though I dislike the way it's implemented, similar to the way I like what Exchange/Outlook is trying to do while hating everything about the way it's actually done.

    There's been talk about trying to open up the silos represented by these applications. You have your data in twitter, you have your data in facebook, you have your data in google, and there's lots of duplication across each. Facebook will talk to google to import your data but that's a bit clunky and is still just putting your stuff in another silo. I like the idea of more interoperability but am also concerned about the potential for holes. I don't mind if my facebook gets hacked because there's nothing important on there, nothing personal or embarrassing. I don't put anything there I wouldn't mind seeing on the front page of the new york times. But if facebook had tight access to my gmail, suddenly a hole in facebook could become a hole in gmail. Not so good.

    • by nbates (1049990)

      I use it as a human-powered net of blog posts, web pages and news recommendations.

      I use two twitter accounts, in one I get frequent updates on political and economical news of my country, in the other I get updates about game programming. In both I get obscure articles I wouldn't get just by googling, and I get them faster than google indexes them.

      It is not a perfect recommendation system, I get some "lol, look at my catz" lines, but it works. You get interesting posts most of the times. But I also found o

    • by vitaflo (20507)

      There's been talk about trying to open up the silos represented by these applications.

      This is exactly the long range plan of Buzz. They are trying to open it up so that someday in the future, it won't matter where your social profile is stored, if things are open enough, everything can interconnect. People who think that Buzz is just another Facebook or Twitter are missing the bigger picture they're trying to build here. See:

      http://www.google.com/buzz/dclinton/XxER6oP4WGe/The-best-way-to-get-a-sense-of-w [google.com]

  • Buzz is no problem for me, unless I decide I WANT to add yet another email to my list to use it.
    ETA on implementing it for Google Apps users is months away, and there may be questions on whether it is even implemented at all for those on the free plan.
    I consider this odd. Google Apps users tend to either be schools/small biz, or geeks.
    Sure, Schools and Small Biz may not provide Google with much traction for Buzz, but geeks are more likely to, especially geeks who obviously like Google Stuff (tm).
    And yet, th

  • One of the worrying things in buzz is that you can use it as a blogging engine. You can search for public buzzes that have some text you are interested into, you can comment on them (no registration required, more than being able to participate in buzz) and from there follow the original poster if you want, is not just a short tweet, but a full entry. Same for photos, videos, etc. It blends communities, with blogs, with mails. But all with just google ads. Probably is more or less the same with facebook, an
  • The privacy problem (Score:3, Informative)

    by wiredog (43288) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @01:06PM (#31187248) Journal

    Was why I didn't use Buzz. Made sure it was disabled as soon as I could. I don't want some spheres of my life intersecting.

    An example [techcrunch.com] of what can go wrong, and generate big lawsuits in the process of failing. [google.com]

    I use my private Gmail account to email my boyfriend and my mother.

    There's a BIG drop-off between them and my other "most frequent" contacts.

    You know who my third most frequent contact is?

    My abusive ex-husband.

    Which is why it's SO EXCITING, Google, that you AUTOMATICALLY allowed all my most frequent contacts access to my Reader, including all the comments I've made on Reader items, usually shared with my boyfriend, who I had NO REASON to hide my current location or workplace from, and never did.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      This doesn't make sense. Buzz didn't retroactively apply to linked content. I know Buzz autolinked a bunch of my associated content sources, but when I logged in, I had a "clean" Buzz slate.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      This is way off topic, but why in the hell would the stupid bimbo have any contact with an abusive ex at all?

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        A kid requiring visitation rights or child support payments?

        Alimony issues?

        Not very long ex- and still going through legal wrangles.

      • Perhaps to handle shared business, like the kids, the divorce settlement, etc., etc.? Perhaps because she interacted with him so much before he was her ex-husband that he's still one of her top three most contacted contacts, and she can't or hasn't yet cut all contact with him due to remaining shared business? Also, abusive much yourself? Why in the hell would you feel a need to resort to such offensive characterizations?

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          I was the victim in an abusive marriage. I stay as far away from her as I possibly can.

      • by bloobloo (957543)

        Because he became abusive after she had his email address in her contacts? And she didn't foresee needing to delete because of google's innovation?

  • by thetartanavenger (1052920) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @01:56PM (#31188188)
    Why oh why must they force the integration of Google Buzz and Google Reader? I use google reader every day, often share things with various contacts, and read things that have been shared with me. It was awesome. Then Google Buzz came along and forced integration of the two. I don't want Google Buzz but if I go ahead and remove it, it'll remove the sharing abilities I had within Google Reader. I understand the possible benefit of having the two connected, by choice, but without choice Google is simply screwing up one of their actually decent products!
    • by argent (18001)

      I like the integration of Buzz and Reader. In fact I would rather buzz be *part of* reader, a way to drop in comments that aren't actually links, without having to run a blog. I would like to have a single set of followers and followees.

      It makes more sense.

      In fact, I had forgotten about reader until buzz made me aware of it:

      ``I wasn't a Google Reader user until the whole "buzz" thing started. I hadn't quite "got" Google Reader, the guy who first showed reader to me had a zillion feeds and I looked at it and

  • i use GMail through GAfYD. 90% of the Googleverse stuff works there. It's that last 10% that's driving me nuts. It doesn't support chat by itself (your domain host has to allow it, mine does not). It doesn't support Buzz.

    So i have kept my ol' trusty GMail account just for those.

  • I blocked a douchebag I know. I don't see his posts, due to the block, but he still gets to harass me via friends' buzz postings. Apparently the only way to not be harassed is to not use Buzz.
  • I prefer to keep my social networking account and the email I use for purchasing goods online separate, thank you very much. Get this shit out of my "secure" email.

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