Give Buzz another look

Have you given Buzz a try recently? Robert Scoble just asked if it was time to reconsider Buzz. Coincidentally I said almost the same thing in a question and answer session with Danny Sullivan last week at the SMX Advanced search conference.

I’ll repeat what I said last week. Do you remember when you first started on Twitter, and you didn’t know quite what to do with it? Who do I follow? What do I say? I didn’t really “get” Twitter for months. But as I found interesting people to follow and got the hang of it, I began to see the appeal of Twitter and started using it more often. I’ve noticed Buzz is tracing that same trajectory for me: an initial burst, followed by a bit of a slump, and then a steady climb as I found people that make Buzz interesting.

Buzz fits nicely between tweeting and blogging. Twitter is perfect when you want to share a link or a single crystalized idea. But Twitter isn’t as strong for group discussion or expressing medium- to long-form ideas. At the same time, blogging is great when you want a permalinked url that will stand the test of time, but it can be a real pain to write a blog post. I always feel like I have to polish my blog posts and it seems to take me at least an hour to write a blog post no matter what I say.

Buzz has the casual feel of Twitter, but you can dive into a topic pretty deeply. Buzz is easier than a blog post, but can look almost as polished. I find Buzz especially good for asking opinions, because the signal-to-noise ratio is (at least right now) quite high. I think Buzz is incredibly strong for internal company discussions too, so I’m looking forward to Buzz rolling into Google Apps.

If you haven’t checked out Buzz, or haven’t checked it out recently, you might want to give Buzz another look. You can follow me on Buzz if you’re interested; we’re having a nice discussion about favorite Chrome extensions right now.

87 Responses to Give Buzz another look (Leave a comment)

  1. The second that Google Buzz makes syndicating the messages that I create through various other channels, so that I can make people aware that I use Buzz, through an easy to use RSS feed, I will be instantly sold. Until then, I can totally see the appeal, it is a great idea, but no thanks.

  2. Buzz simply makes sense. It’s a lightweight forum with real conversations with sharp folks. Happy to have gotten it right away and participated. My Buzz profile is here: http://www.google.com/profiles/louisgray

    It’s time to give Buzz another look.

  3. Leaf.

    When will “Buzz rolling into Google Apps” ..?

  4. Hi Matt,
    Buzz looks nice, are you guys going to make iphone app for it ?

  5. Did Google figure out how to unpublish people’s Gmail address books?

  6. I tried Buzz, Matt, but it was just when I was getting really much more into Twitter and also Facebook. And I write a regular blog..not enough time in a day or night to add another like Buzz, just too much noise.

  7. I can’t really take a look at buzz until it is in Google Apps. I hope that comes soon.

  8. I would love to use Buzz with Google Apps, any ideas when it will be available? http://www.google.com/profiles/htafolla

  9. James

    How about google wave, haven’t heard much about that for a while. Personally im looking to consolidate my communication options, I can’t keep up with gmail, outlook,twitter,facebook, linkedin, buzz + wave. Thre corporation that can figure out how to collapse all of these platforms into one will be sitting on a gold mine!

  10. Like most I started out strong with using Buzz but the novelty soon wore off and now I’m in that “slump” period…

  11. My Google Buzz usage slowed a bit, then in the last couple weeks I”m using more. I really see its potential as a communications platform, and it has huge potential for enterprise integration.

    Its easy to get social network and app fatigue these days. I’m going to keep using it. It’s part of my daily tool set.

  12. JR Snyder Jr

    I really, really like Buzz. I also like the way comments are integrated with Reader. I want to use it it even more for posting directly except…

    I really don’t like that it isn’t separate from my Gmail.

  13. NG

    I agree with the few people above who asked about Buzz in Google Apps. I’m not even going to bother looking at Buzz until it’s included in my Google Apps account.

  14. I’ll take your recommendation seriously, Matt, but honestly I did try Buzz and was totally put off by the fact Buzz itself doesn’t seem to know what it is or what it should be doing.

    Like Twitter, (the unreliable, spammy instant messenger for people who don’t know how to use instant messaging) Buzz is invasive and unpredictable … I found myself associated with people’s blog posts merely becuase I once followed or commented on one of their’s months in the past.

    There seem to be serious predictability/usability issues … it’s really a test case for a usability review/overhaul in my book.

    Example … I can comment here on your blog and fine … people will either read or ignore, agree or disagree, comment or not comment, and that is what blogging/commenting is all about.

    What I won’t see, by leaving this comment, are my words republished elsewhere attached to someone else’s writings/website whose only connection to me is that they once commented here as well. It’s really still a bit of a strange medium to me … a solution in search of a requirement.

    Hint to other readers who are reading this and saying, “well obviously this chump doesn’t know how to use Buzz” .. bingo, you got me. What a fruitful subject area for someone to write some “from the ground up” effective ways to use Buzz articles.

    I don’t have any problem in owning up to my own technical shortcomings … Buzz seems much too hard to use/control to be of real value.

  15. Caleb

    I’m only on Google Apps so I haven’t been able to try Buzz yet. Very much looking forward to it though. Any ideas when the Google team will roll it out for Apps??

  16. Buzz really didn’t do it for me. I very much resented having it inserted into my Gmail uninvited, and even though my friends and I took a whack at it we really couldn’t find any value.

    What Buzz did accomplish was to whet my appetite for a mature social network so I joined Twitter and am fairly satisfied with it. Twitter is segregated from my other cloud apps unless I grant a specific trust between it and another application, and that’s the way I like it. Google ubiquity across cloud apps is not always an attractive prospect for me.

  17. That’s kind of weird. Recently I looked into the buzz thing and now you post this blog about it.

  18. The question is whether Buzz is ready for me, but is has yet to appear in my hosted Gmail account. I think Buzz sounds awfully groovy, can’t wait to start using it . . .

  19. I think you’re right on Buzz as a company tools. Conversation made easy and traceable

  20. Jack Ringer SEO turned Town Crier in Plymouth reporting for duty (insert salute)

    I love Buzz – At the moment I use it a few times a day and am finding it difficult to get people of worth on board and using it.

    The comparison with Twitter is absolutely right on. I am hoping buzz gets integrated with Google Apps Premier as I use that but have to work within gmail to Buzz. i’m sure that’s coming

    It’s a definite keeper and will work. I think us converts will be the best ad for Buzz

    I am wondering where Wave is going and would dearly like to see Orkut adopted in the UK and USA a lot more

    Buzz is cool :)

    http://www.google.com/profiles/abfabseo

    Jack Ringer
    Town Crier
    Available for Google Places ;)

  21. I would really like to give Buzz another go but I still think it is too clunky for me, plus you mentioned it is an options between a short tweet and blogging but isn’t tumblr exactly that and it allows more personalisation. You mentioned useful for internal discussion as well isn’t that google Waves job. Just looked a bit to me like it was a move by google to try and get into the space Twitter had been dominating but not much thought had gone into it.

  22. I’m probably not the only one that still isn’t impressed by Twitter, and finds Facebook a waste of time. Now being in the “SEO World” I do have accounts in both, and do use them from time to time so I am up to date with the latest happenings. Facebook I find “fluffy” with lots of “fluff” posts. And twitter I find “spammy” with lots of updates that nobody would care about, and often is people trying to get search engines to index more content.

    I do want to try Buzz again. I have a gphone, and love the Chrome operating system. I can’t wait to try it on a laptop or pc when it is available. I can imagine Buzz could be really cool once I am able to manage privacy ok. What I think would be nice is the ability to not be accurate from a GPS standpoint. For example, maybe it knows which city I am in but not my exact location. Then I would be able to build a sense of being part of the Bay Area, and meeting other people that way. I also would be able to post content that “only available in the Bay Area”. That would be sweet.

    Those are my thoughts. I do hope Buzz will mature, and also integrating it with other google products like Wave, Maps and even Chrome offer exciting possibilities.

  23. I think its brilliant that google has buzz with its gmail and the name is awesome too…it is just matter of naming and matter of when getting into the game…but it makes perfect sense for google to have buzz.

    I think it would be even better if google developers starting writing more mobile and other apps for buzz to promote it better

  24. Matt, I do need to ask — why did I suddenly stop following everyone that I was following (…) after I manually went through the new privacy controls as soon as they were released so many weeks ago? I’m still trying to track down everyone that I was following and have been largely unsatisfied with my Buzz stream ever since.

    If it’s a beta service, please mark it as such so I can not be so disappointed when it fails me like this. I’ve been a heavy users lately and would love to continue using it, but I want to do so with the understanding that either, A) things will break, or B) things should work.

    Thanks for listening, Matt. I look forward to seeing more Buzz posts in the future, especially if you’re going to talk about using URLs as universal GUIDs and merging the activity surrounding them using Buzz. ;)

  25. Hi Matt ,
    Really,Buzz has some +’s . But most of people want to use different services on different domains.
    Maybe , some apps accepted by people on google.com domain ,but not like buzz or etc.
    i think google must think to change of address some apps/service to a single domain.

  26. Morris Rosenthal

    Matt,

    What’s Twitter?

    Morris

  27. Josh

    @David Duval: You’re right! In that way it won’t be hard for you to be keep updated with what’s hot where you are in.

    That’s nicer!

  28. Damian

    Ryan T Malone sums it up for me – that and I want it in Google Apps …

  29. Scott W

    Buzz is such a massiver fail. Google didnt do themselves any favours by opting in everyone also, basically forcing people to use it if they had a gmail account.

    I think it was made as a knee jerk reaction to not acquiring Twitter.

    Sorry matt, but i think this one is destined to run out of steam very shortly.

  30. I use and like Buzz, my only gripe is there are not enough people on there. as for Twitter, it’s not that I don’t get it… It’s that I think it’s driven by hype and nothing else. when you get those twitter “reactions” to articles etc, they are simply links back to the same article “Hey check this article, tinurl” Pointless. Buzz offers a lot more but it needs a good user base first.

  31. I’m with Matthew on this one. There are not enough people on Buzz, as opposed to Twitter. I would prefer to use Buzz, but the general web population is still hooked on Twitter and Facebook.

  32. I’m not even sure why I stopped using Buzz. It seemed great at first, but the more people got on, the more cluttered it became. With Twitter, messages are short. With Buzz, they can get very lengthy and I just don’t have the time for it. The shorter messages on Buzz are usually Twitter feed btw, so even those are time consuming.

    If Google was to launch another Twitter, it may actually have a chance. Buzz is just too cumbersome and time consuming for me at this point, sorry.

  33. Buzz is really starting to grow on me. I still haven’t fully integrated it into my everyday online life yet, but I am slowing starting to use it more and more. It’s strange how Google Buzz wasn’t even on the radar and them BLAM, there it is. If think if Buzz is going to compete they should do what Facebook did with the Like Button. ;) Just my 0.02.

    Randy

  34. I love buzzing. and following you over there Matt.
    I believe buzz can be a good alternate for people who are finding more micro blogging networks

  35. About to try buzz tomorrow for the first time, hope im not left disapointed, tbh I should have tried it out before now, would have been easy as I use gmail for my primary email source.

  36. Hi guys,

    I never really even thought about using Buzz. Thanks for sharing.

    Kind regards,
    Sam
    X

  37. Another vote for Google Apps here too. It’s just not of any use outside of Apps. And while you’re at it, ask them to find a way to integrate my Google Apps account with my Google account. I really just want the main company one.

    Once Buzz getts into Apps, I’ll be all over it like everyone else. I can’t wait to use it for team meetings. We’re all in different parts of the city or continent so a tool like this will make a significant difference for us.

  38. I know its coming.. its coming… been hearing it for months… is it really that hard to add it to google apps?

  39. firstly i thought Buzz is only just another social network, and a duplicate. now Matt has clarified this for me. thanks a lot! i think i’ll give it another try.

  40. Matt you have made this very clear. I thought Buzz was yet another social site which are being introduced all the time but instead Buzz is something clearly different.

  41. I am in the same boat as many on here, socialy overloaded… unless something offers me a real solid value that I can understand I am not going to try it.. Someone needs to make a video showing exactly what it is intended for…

    I also find it frustrating how this and so many other things don’t work with apps accounts, I paid for the premier and cant integrate with my Google Voice contacts, I cant purchase from the android market using my apps premier account and I cant use Buzz… time to step up the dev process and support paying customers a bit better :)

  42. I really have not jumped on totally to the Buzz bandwagon. I am not adverse to using the service, but I just do not have all this time to do one thing versus another.

    Why would Buzz benefit me more so than other services of its kind?

  43. I don’t know about Buzz. I feel weird about using Google for social interactions. I will give it some time and maybe try it out when I’m more comfortable. Thanks though.

  44. Michael

    How about no?? I’m tired of the google online monopoly and I’m pleased to see momentum finally building and swinging against google on this front.. I wish google would stick to what it ‘was’ good at, search results and thats all.. This won’t happen though and eventually you’ll suffer the same fate as MS..

  45. I just removed the Buzz tab from Gmail last night. It only contained stuff from my friends in Twitter and Facebook, which I have seen anyway. Buzz to me is pointless and useless and I don’t see it going anywhere. The only google consumer products that make sense to me and I use a lot are search, gmail and reader.

  46. Buzz looks quite fun and usefull, unfortunatly there aren’t enough users, especially here in the Netherlands. Twitter is booming here, so maybe Buzz will catch on in the future. I’ll probably set up buzz and see if it catches on here.

  47. When Google Buzz first came out, I didn’t really like it. I still don’t like its close tie in with Gmail e-mail, but that is bothering me less and less. A short while ago I came back to it, and tried it again, and now I find myself using it more and more every day. I love that you can put blog-like posts up on it with links and everything, or use it Twitter like to make short sms type posts too. I find it has the best of FriendFeed, Twitter, and Facebook all rolled in to one. If it keeps on improving, and more people start to use it, it may do all right.

  48. Uzi

    I would also love to see BUZZ in Google Apps!

  49. I personally loved Google Buzz from the very start. It’s got much better features than Twitter, not to mention the fact, that it’s far easier to follow a conversation. The only thing Twitter has going for it, is it’s viral userbase. Twitter has somehow managed to turn itself into a popularity contest. Everybody wants as many followers as possible.

    Google will need to make Buzz go viral if they want to compete with Twitter. To begin with, they need to make it as easy and attractive as possible to get followers.

  50. I’ve been watching the Buzz stats on my blog, and my experience mirrors Scoble’s. Number of buzzes and traffic are trending upward.

    I hope Google will provide Buzz within Google Apps soon. My guess is many people that would be Google Buzz power users are using Google Apps vs. the free GMail.

  51. I’ve tried Google Buzz yet again recently, and frankly I just found too much spam in there, apparently I had “friended” people who I had to then remove. Not sure if these “friends” were the result of others friending them and then Buzz telling me about them, but the last time I went in to check Google Buzz I spent a bunch of time removing people.

    So how does Google Buzz deal with spam internally in Google Buzz?

  52. Do you get a public URL with Buzz, like you do with Twitter? (i.e. twitter.com/your-name)
    I find this a really useful feature of Twitters service.

  53. Social networks of any form are (unfortunately) not allowed in offices (like ours), which was sad, until Buzz. Now I can keep up with my friends (who I have invited to gmail too), and when somebody looks over my shoulder, I would say “Hey, I’m just opening my email”. :))

  54. What are the difference between buzz and twitter ?

  55. Would love to know just how effective tweeting / facebook wall posts are in encouraging Google et al to revisit sites. Does it help or are they lost in the marrass unless you have hundreds of followers?

  56. I have not tried Buzz yet, I use several other social network sites. I feel like if you try to use all of the social media sites you will get lost or have not time on your hands to do anything else.

  57. I like Buzz, but I don’t see it becoming another Twitter; too many people see Google as an online monopoly. I think she’ll run out of steam pretty soon….

  58. Google Buzz has potential. The only thing I don’t like is the inability to “Rebuzz”. I’m sure the tweeking will include something similar to a Retweet, right?

  59. sam

    I actually really like Buzz but it’s not realistic to use it because everything is doubled between Google Reader comments and Buzz in Gmail. I can’t check just one or I miss things and I can’t check both because then I have to sift through tons of duplicate content I’ve already seen.

    Fix that and I’ll use Buzz. I suggest a buzz tab in Reader.

  60. As said in some of the above comments, can we expect a Google Buzz app anytime in the near future? I think it would go into a daily check or two in between my twitter and facebook.

  61. I had never even heard of Buzz before reading this. It seems to have found a happy medium between blogging and tweeting. It could go either way with the number of users. Perhaps soon it will reach that vital “tipping point”, and become a must-have tool in your on-line arsenal.

  62. I though Buzz was a Yahoo bookmarking type site..? But it sounds like another different thing you are talking about here. I better check it out.

  63. I use Buzz all the time with some good results, but twitter still the main player. I’m sure Google will buy twitter soon enough.

  64. I personally liked Google Buzz from the very start. It has similar features as Twitter, not to mention the fact, that it’s far easier to follow a conversation

  65. “Do you remember when you first started on Twitter, and you didn’t know quite what to do with it?” I love this comment! It’s so true and it’s the same with Buzz!

  66. Is Buzz vs. Twitter the next MySpace vs. Facebook? MySpace is almost dead in comparison to Facebook (I’m an avid former-MySpace now Facebook user myself). Will that be a hint of what’s to come?

  67. I was willing to give Buzz a try, and it wasn’t the auto opt in of all your address contacts that stopped me. No, it was the fact that when I blocked some random person from following me it didn’t stick. Every day when I entered my account, I’d find the same person who I wasn’t interested in connecting with following me again. It feels like there is no security with it, and it makes me quite uncomfortable.

    Twitter has it’s good and bad points, but if I block someone, I don’t see them following me again the next day.

  68. What I like is that Google has integrated with Gmail buzz. In this way, I use two services in one place. At the same time, I think that the whole community should be as much to interact based on discussions. The user must be hooked in the creation and development and possibly even a custom channel talks. For example, should be somewhere an option for creating a channel, which describes an action would be an excellent thing.

  69. Oh please. Buzz has as much energy as a doorstop. It screams Google corporate. Absolutely nothing attractive about it or any points of differentiation that would make me switch (or add it ) to/from existing social media sites I contribute to. Its a half baked opportunistic attempt by Google to enter the social media realm and it looks exactly like what it is. A sad little hyperlink in my gmail account.

  70. I have to admit I do not find Buzz very easy to use at this moment in time, contains a lot of apps and can be hard to find a route around.

    Saying that, Google will improve it and become a leader, they always do.

  71. Matt, I agree with your points totally… Unfortunately, I haven’t really seen any good examples of how companies use Buzz to add unique value… It seems like a good thing for a social media boost, but I think some concrete examples of good Buzz usage would really help sell it.

  72. PJ

    I think buzz is terrible, that its in gmail instead of separate is a problem. And even if you follow someone interesting, you keep getting their posts popping up again and again and again because some random stranger, whom you don’t care about, has posted some lame comment.

  73. I feel buzz was a really nice app just that the negative publicity over the privacy issue spoilt it. It seems that google has been trying for long to succeed in the social media space.

  74. Steve

    Hi Matt,

    I have tried many times to use the service as I think it’s great and love that its conveniently in my gmail – the issue I have had with it is that I don’t seem to get responses from friends on there (my friends don’t seem to use it, which affects my ability to be active on it too). I think that’s a major issue holding people back from using it reguarly (especially when there are other sites where everyone is active daily on). If I could just get my friends to use it more i would take it over facebook any day! I try to change them to use it but convincing others to do it is harder than i thought it would be, many of them are facebook addicts (they don’t seem to budge!). But I do think if momentum started kicking in with activity and the more and more users used it, it would really take off! Getting my friends started on that has been tough, even though it’s such a simple and easy to use layout etc…

    I WISH my friends would just use it!!

  75. In my opinion, I think people are overwhelmed by the choices that are available, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube and Facebook. It took me awhile to get used to them and figure it out. I will check out Buzz as I know very little about it and perhaps it will be the next Twitter. I hope it is easy to use.

  76. Buzz had a look then I removed it from my gmail. I did look at Google Wave (remember wave?) yesterday, found a lot of pretty cool changes there.

  77. Buzz reveals your real name instead of your Google profile’s alias. Epic fail.

  78. Hi,

    Just wondering if there is any direct or perhaps indirect SEO benefits to using Google Buzz. There are some benefits of SEO with Facebook and Twitter. From my understanding the SEO for Facebook and Twitter is not as highly regarded strategies as creating a press release or writing good quality content. Any thoughts on this matter?

  79. Ron

    I have adopted Buzz and I think it is the perfect bridge between full blogging and micro blogging

  80. I have played around with buzz and like it. I find it very useful as my close contacts. I can’t say I use it on a daily basis, but maybe on a weekly basis. I think it is a great new tool, but also think it should continue to evolve. I do agree it would be nice to have as it a iphone app or an addition to the current google inbox app

  81. Matt,
    People are definitely overwhelmed with choices that they are given at the time being however on the other side of the coin, I think this is healthy competition for the social media world. If Google gets in the game, I am sure everyone else will be trying harder, something I’d like to see and this will drive social media even higher due to competition. We need more competition, not more staleness.

    Google buzz is by far one of the most aggressive push into Social Media by Google yet.

  82. @PJ, I have the same feeling with PJ. The Gmail integration ruined user experience. Hate to see all the Buzz comments end up in my inbox. A seperate Buzz client is much preferred.

  83. Actually I’m not that thrilled as I expected. New, new… how new. It’s pretty much the same functionality, there’s just a bit of difference there. I love the way it is. And to Google: Please don’t kill it as you did with some of your other projects – Google Wave for instance.

  84. I would be concerned about using Buzz simply because Google scares me somewhat. They seem too powerful so it might get touchy to post things that you wonder if they would object to. Paranoid? Maybe but I don’t see myself using it.

  85. Hey Matt,

    It’s great to see that Google keeps coming up with new gadgets however what is the sense if you don’t show your customers and users definitive ways to use it to benefit their lives.

    As usual it seems as the only reason it (and other Google offerings eg. Wave) was/is released is for Google to take another step forward in their quest. Google need to learn that if they take the time to take care of their customers/user and help them in their quests that they would spend a lot less time producing products that eventually end up getting scrapped.

    Paul G Hackett
    “The Medical Billing, Coding & Transcription Mastermind”

  86. Drew

    I’m struggling to make a post on my profile Matt. I want to have a nice welcome message to state that I’ve just got setup but can’t find a button to add a post. Strange and is bewildering me to the point of frustration. :-( Hopefully I’ll find it soon.

  87. Yes, maybe this is in the anti spam idea category, but not.
    With the idea of the volumetric difference between a blog, buzz and twitter, it’s very cool to me, to see how to say the same thing, in the least amount of words, and interestingly, the other direction.

    So from that idea, because as I crafted rss and blogs I like the idea of taking big aticles, and chopping them into smaller ones, then pulling the core outline to build more articles and repeat till you drop.

    So as another exercise I started taking various artices frm other writers, and instead of parsing them down, I started to trun the paragraphs into bulleted lists. It really condensed a lot of fluff you knw what I mean? It also pin pointed the key words, not in the SEO sense, and yet in that sense, to “thesuarisize” for new relations. It’s like comparing the Psychiatrists diagnostics and statistics manual, to say Microsoft Visual Basic Programmers Guide. You can only filter Microsofts crazy book by probably 20%, the DSM you could probably filter out 80% of the way those psych nuts try to explain stuff. Take a look at that manual, and you will see what I mean.

    It would be cool to devlop a tool that could do that. Me van winkle… There must be one out there, do enlighten. jwl_at_37.com

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