Google just released Google Buzz which has demands that we “go beyond status messages”.
To me this appears to echo the feeling many people had, including me, when confronted with micro-blogging sites like Twitter – so what.
It represents a profound misunderstanding of what a status message actually is. Status messages are really:
- part of a conversation
- the start of a conversation
- a cry for help
- a complaint
- a grandiose aphorism about what’s wrong with the world
- a proclamation of love
- and of course a comedy.
Whilst twitter and Facebook might appear to a Google engineer to be merely a system that accepts, validates and publishes status messages, these sites are much more than than that.
They are communications systems that helps people connect.
Much like email does.
I can see why the Google engineers and product marketing folks decided to use focus on doing more than updating and reading status messages. It is a good spin and a great reflection on Gmail’s strengths, which are that it’s very bloody easy to use and has a huge base of installed customers who are already having conversations.
What is missing from Gmail is a an ecosystem of third party applications which can help me share anywhere I like from practically any device I like.
Of course this wouldn’t sell any advertising.
And this is why I reckon Google wants to “go social”. The more people tweet or exchange Facebook messages the less they email and of course Google has a reduced audience to display advertisements to.
After a long break from blogging which was sandwiched by two overhyped product releases, one from Google and one from Apple, I am feeling a little fatigued with product releases that are thinly masked market share grabs and do nothing to solve my problems.
And let’s not forget that Yahoo and Microsoft have had similar features for quite some time.
My first impressions from Buzz are that is pretty cool. The user interface is very slick and it is easy to do stuff like attach images, add people, comment, like, post links and browse posts.
My big complaint is that I cannot update Twitter from Buzz although I can see my tweets in Buzz.