Certainly by now you’ve heard the Buzz. Or, heard of Buzz. Ummh. Heard the buzz about Buzz?
Whatever, Google has a new social network-y thing out which they’ve been kind enough to drop into your Gmail inbox. If you don’t see it yet, you can probably go here to activate it. Once you get Buzz you will see a new option appear right below your inbox with a cute little graphic that looks a lot like the Google Talk graphic but with a few primary colors inside it.
And before your very eyes your Gmail inbox has been transformed into a social networking hub. You already had the “conversation” style email interface, then Google went and tossed in a IM client in the form of Talk, or Gchat, as it has come to be called, and now you have Buzz. Not only does Google know everything about you (as evidenced, also, by their confidence in getting your Buzz started by suggesting a few friends), but now you never need to go to another website ever.
This may be an exaggeration (not the part about them knowing everything about you, that’s true), but it may not be. If you, like me, agreed with Sessions post a while back about the imperfections of Google Reader but after a few tries were still not able to wrench yourself free of it, then you may get your daily news and information, personal email and chat, and now your public, social networking banter all through the almighty GOOG.
Many people have already come out swinging, fearful of the power that Google is amassing, but, I, for one, am not afraid. I like having all my information centralized. I like it so much that I added the Integrated Gmail extension to Firefox so that I can get all my Google apps in the same tab. I don’t even have to open a new window to read my news after I’m done checking my email and now when I share a news item it is conveniently passed along to my Buzz friends who can reap the benefits of my exquisite curatorial reading habits.
The question is, will Buzz catch on. We already have Facebook and Twitter and though Google is obviously attempting to take the best parts of both of these social networking tools and combine them into one even more integrated system, those others may be too entrenched. But for me, this is the exciting part. We get to watch the birth of a new social network. Will it thrive, survival of the fittest style, adapting to the crowded share-o-sphere? Or will it die in the murky soup of information overload?
Here’s to it’s survival!
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