Later to the party than ever, yesterday Google launched a social tool called Buzz
that aims to connect you with your social lifestream from the most active place - your inbox (that is only if you use Gmail, of course).
Instead of asking the question: Is Buzz Just Twitter All Over Again?
(because it is way too early for that), I'd like to concentrate on the features that would make buzz a better tool for us to work/enjoy with on a daily basis.Settings
It seems that Google products are setting-less. The same thing happened with Wave and made lots of people question the service, after all what is the use of a service if you can't change its settings the way you are comfortable with or prefer? In actual fact, if you use Buzz, the first thing you'll notice is comments that pop in your inbox each time people react to your posts or posts that you took part in. I don't really know why it bothers me here, when it is OK in Facebook , I just knows that it does. So the first thing I'd like to have (ASAP) is the ability for comments to skip my inbox and go right into the Buzz tab. (of course I already created a filter for that
Since it is very common to get notifications from Facebook, Twitter, iPhone, it is something Google should consider differently. If it is on the iPhone, I'd like to get some push notifications from people that comment on my posts. In Gmail, I would like to at least have the ability to see comments in real time without the need to go inside each posts (corner pop-ups). And finally, a Desktop application or a chrome/FireFox extension might help complete this experience.Comment Tracker
Another thing that you'll notice right away is that Buzz is bumping posts each time it's getting a comment. This prevents you from seeing new posts in time and sometimes clutters the whole stream (especially if you follow Kevin Rose
) - Again, it can be a matter of setting, where I can just stop the stream from jumping each time someone comments on another person's Buzz or maybe an ability to track comments from posts you actually want to track and see how the conversation is developing.One-way integration
This is where I think Google is failing.
Allowing us to connect with services such as Twitter and bring statuses simultaneously to Buzz will make noise and lends a feeling of duplication. The right way is to give us the ability to make a conversation through Buzz no matter where it's coming from and not only see statuses, but also reply to them directly through Gmail. This will probably make us stay longer at the Gmail work space (Read: good for Google), but at least I won't need to see something in Buzz and go to Twitter to answer it. It disrupts the flow somewhat.Followers
So Google goes to all the trouble to send me an email each time someone comments but won't send an email on new followers? How will I follow back? Do you really think I'll go over the alphabetic list and try to guess who are the new followers? Maybe at first, but it will wear me out eventually. If the list of friends is not updated so that new friends are added to top of the list, then I would rather get an email on each new friend - and I have to be honest, this is a pretty basic feature.Mobile
If you want people to actually use Buzz from their mobile, they should offer a better user experience. Same mistake with Wave - no one want to use this kind of service from a web app. A native application is a must.Short URL
Not a long while ago, Google released a short URL service. So it shouldn't be so hard to change this:
, which will be easier to share and so leads me to the next needed feature:Sharing
Buzz feels like a closed garden for some reason, everything comes in, but nothing goes out... why? Why can't we share content we like from Buzz outward? What about re-sharing a post inside the community of Buzz? All these features would make it more inviting to use, since we've been familiar with this kind of behavior from other services for years now.Gadgets
I've seen it work in so many other Google services such as: Wave, iGoogle, Gmail (labs widget) - are you gonna enable people to embed an XML code inside a post, Google? Because it would open a whole world of opportunities that would be very helpful while working side by side with Gmail.Media Embed
Well, I know it works with MP3 links, but what about other formats? Even Youtube links nor code doesn't work.
Overall I don't think I've asked for much, although the list might look a bit long, these are all actually features that we all know and are familiar with already, features required for our daily social life.
You may think it's only the start for Buzz, give them some time... which I'm giving. But just so you all know, I'm not impressed. I'll use it because it's in my Gmail, but it should offer more especially after experiencing these same kind of communication features everywhere else in the web otherwise really what' so new or buzzworthy?Buzz me with your thoughts
Labels: buzz, gmail, google, social