Too much fuzz with buzz ?

Google launched Buzz yesterday and I thought I better take a look I have a good presence online with ‘jobadge’ and like to try and grab the username when something new comes along. I had a few minutes to spare this morning, so at home on my iPod Touch, I went to go and create an account. I didn’t need to bother of course, google just pulled my gmail account username through. Which was nice and a bit spooky at the same time.

As with any new social network, I posted into the empty space and waited to see if I could find anyone to talk to. Nothing happened. Later on when I got into work I explored a little more but couldn’t find anyway to access buzz in my gmail, where I thought it should be. However, a quick searching for ‘buzz’ in my gmail showed me the two messages I’d posted, with a URL link to them both. I was skyping with Alan this morning, so I sent him the URL and he found he could comment on my post, without having Buzz enabled on his own account (I hadn’t realised that it was being rolled out to only some users, it’s not often I get something before Alan does ;-)). We could explore each other’s followers  and this led us to realise that if this network takes off, it opens up a whole mess of network and audience issues.

At the moment, I have three (major) distinct networks of people (yes in some places they overlap) : Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook. They represent two different aspects of my work and my social life. Google Buzz presented me with people to follow/be followed by from my gmail contacts. My gmail account is full of all kinds of stuff and I’m not really sure that it represents a distinct audience of any sort. I guess the networks may settle down, but since Alan, Stuart and I have been trying hard to keep a discreet student audience for some teaching we are doing, there is a danger that Buzz could mess this up horribly and blurr the boundaries we’ve been trying hard to maintain.

From what I’ve seen so far, on a Buzz conversation I broadcast on twitter, there is no realtime refresh on the Buzz web page, but notification via gmail. This is bonkers and will drive me mad – where is the button to turn it off? It seems that anyone who joins in the conversation gets the same gmail bacon as me 😦

From a first look, I’m confused and bewildered. #buzzfail. Was twitter like that to start with?


5 thoughts on “Too much fuzz with buzz ?”

  1. I agree with you about the fuzz and how to manage this across the different types of networks we have. I’m a bit underwhelmed by all the ‘buzz’ about Google Buzz, probably because I don’t use gmail as my main email account so my network isn’t based there. I don’t particularly want to move my email to gmail either. It will be interesting to see what everyone thinks after a few weeks of using it.

  2. The thing about distinct identities is a problem – I use various social media sites for different purposes – work, family, friends – and with different behaviour in different areas. I have school teacher friends who have to be incredibly careful about what is visible, how they interact with current and former pupils, and so on. I don’t want everything from Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, RSS readers and email to be aggregated into one steaming pile, I like keeping these things separate both for conceptual and social reasons. I don’t take my mother out drinking, I don’t discuss family matters with work colleagues, and I don’t want people whose photos of wildlife I follow on Flickr to necessarily know what I do for a living. I was somewhat taken aback to find that I had to create a public-searchable profile on Google to comment on your buzz post – I use gmail for personal email, and Google Reader for following RSS feeds, but I think of these as stand-alone tools, not as part of my “Google persona”.

    My recollection of twitter in the early days was that it was very much about mobile phones, a large group of us early-adopted from elsewhere and it faded away rapidly for those of us who don’t habitually send text messages (I sent 43 tweets in 2007, 6 in 2008). Things changed when there were alternatives to the web and SMS (and for me, when I bought an iPod touch).

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