Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Google Buzz

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So there is a rival to the massively popular Facebook; Buzz from Google.

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Now it hasn't popped up yet in my Gmail account so I am waiting to test it out but by running the video it looks potentially better than Facebook. How does it work?

  • Buzz is similar in concept to Facebook in providing a space to share information, data and images with others.
  • Buzz seems to cleverly automatically present possible images, photos and videos you may be interested to tag into your message. 
  • Buzz also looks like it will very quickly allow a search for your own photo by giving thumbnails and large clear photos above. 
  • Buzz allows an integrated approach to using Twitter, Picassa and Flickr so it does not attempt to be 'exclusive'. 
  • Buzz also suggests 'others' who you may wish to connect with.

Now it may be quite different when you try it but I will be giving it a go.

The whole concept of social networking and the media which allows it, is to share and involve others in a virtual world. It does take time but can be very rewarding in that it is creative and allows you to build something tangible that will remain in the digital world. The problem is that all your 'friends' for instance on Facebook are highly unlikely to all be real friends. Time stops you from being able to interact in a meaningful way to build a relationship since by its nature it is time consuming. therefore, I have friends that I know very well personally and keep in touch through Facebook in addition to meeting, emailing and telephoning them.

LinkedIn is different in that it has a tangible purpose in networking with business people and allowing contacts at a particular business level to explore opportunities, exchange ideas and share information. LinkedIn boasts of 55 million users worldwide and I consider it to be a valuable tool. In just a few months it has allowed me to connect with over 400 business people and has been invaluable in assisting me in the business world.

Twitter is one of those 'must have' accounts. It is interesting to quickly throw out into the virtual world a nugget of information or emotion or titbit of news and there are increasingly more and more niche apps which given the time to test and explore could be very useful, but with all these types of social media they take a huge amount of time to learn, get accounts up and running and optimise the way you use them.

I haven't even mentioned Xing, Ecademy, or how I have tried out Digg. I can't possibly keep all these accounts up to date and I will see with interest in one year's time, which ones I have maintained and which ones I have just had to lapse (including this Blog).

With the launching of Buzz, there seems to be so many ways to share information and interact that it feels like we are the guinea pig generation for social media. Will over the coming years the most popular sites become a fixed part of our world or will people rapidly move around as new and more exciting versions appear? As technology is changing rapidly so even the way we will use the media will change. Heads up displays, touch screens and even 'thought' applications will mean the world is changing into a place that only a few years ago seemed to lie in the imagination of Arthur C. Clarke and George Lucas.

It will take a big effort to figure out individually what works for all of us and what is truly rewarding rather than just 'keeping up with the Jones'.

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