Riding The Google Buzz Bandwagon

There’s been a lot of Buzz about Google Buzz since it was launched, much of it critical. One of the main criticisms was the hastily plugged privacy hole, but there have been others. I am definitely one of the bloggers that jumped on the Buzz bandwagon, mostly because I love trying out new things. One week on, I’m still using it, something that never happened with Wave. The fact that it was right there in my email made it even easier for me to get started with it.

Criticisms Of Buzz

There are some things that Buzz doesn’t do nearly as well as the other social media services like Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed. Considering that Buzz is embedded in Gmail, which has awesome filtering capabilities, the absence of similar capacity in Buzz is odd. I’d like to be able to filter my friends stream easily or divide them into lists to I can see the particular set of updates I’m interested in. That’s somewhere where Facebook and Friendfeed have the upper hand.

Buzz is also incredibly noisy if you are following people like Richard Scoble, Darren Rowse, Mashable or Louis Gray. Since it shows you the posts with the most activity, you almost always see these at the top of your Buzz stream, while other, more recent posts might be lost. That makes Buzz almost useless for me, as I want to know what’s happening with all the people I am following, not just the most popular. I ended up unfollowing those people so I could see what was happening with the rest. Surely that negates the point of Buzz?

I also find it irritating that I can only see a few updates within a window, when I’d like to see more links and to be able to choose whether to see the comments or not. Fewer defaults, more choice – that’s what Buzz needs. Having said that, there are things I like about it.

Kudos For Buzz

I love being able to read a post inline and comment without leaving Buzz. I’ve commented on posts that I might have previously read and tweeted but otherwise ignored. That’s good news for bloggers who Buzz. I’ve found that people have done the same on some of my posts. These are people who might get my posts by email but might never bother to comment, so the increased interaction is a major plus.

Even better, I’ve been able to have conversations on Buzz with people I don’t normally speak to, not because I don’t want to, but because their tweets and updates get lost in the other social media arenas I frequent. I also like the fact that there’s no character limit on my comments, a big advantage over Twitter.

Finally – and I’m not sure whether this is good or bad – Buzz is right there when I check my email, so I find myself using more than a few other social media sites. It’s hard to resist that unread icon. Placing it within email was a smart, but distracting, move.

My Buzz Wish List

I do have a short wish list of things I’d like to see on Buzz to make the experience more useful and enjoyable for bloggers. Many of these are already available in other Google products so presumably they could be implemented soon:
  • presentation of Buzz posts in reverse chronological order
  • ability to filter by date, type, user and more
  • the ability to group Buzzes in a cloud, list, magazine format so that you can cut through the noise (another form of filtering)
  • the ability to automatically remove duplicate entries posted from different sources (as in Google search)

What’s on your Buzz wish list?

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