Have Google created enough of a Buzz around their new social networking platform to drag all you Gmailers’ attention away from Facebook ?
With loads of features (making this a very intimate service – we are told) and even getting Sergey Brin to put his weight behind it at its launch, Google are obviously hoping so ! Or will the peak in solar activity put a premature end to its geotagging feature and its allure ?
Will you be trying the new service (when it is available in the UK – doesn’t seem to be so far) or did the swell of hype from Google Wave leave you cold and unwilling to return to the water ?
In this particular my Google-fan-boy-mentality-early-adopter street-cred failed me and I almost missed the Buzz!
When I finally got around to turning Buzz on, on the 17th of February, it had already received quite a lot of bad press for being 1) an opt out system, 2) initially automatically following all your Gmail contacts and 3) not making it obvious how to correct any errors it might make in equating regular email contact with friendship.
Some long hours overtime in Mountain View seems to have corrected the worst of these, and it didn't seem that scary to me. Having now tried it for a day, all I can say that has potential. The fact that it's there, if you want it, right in your mail box is both interesting, exciting and at the same time also slightly disturbing. However, it's also brilliant in that email is still one technology that everyone uses, and if it takes off from there, the potential user-base is enormous.
A few members of the learning community are already using it, and I am following them there as well as on a number of another channels. And it'll be interesting to see what happens.
I would expect to see more of Google's services joining available the Buzz social network and there'll be sufficient ways to link to other services to keep the anti-monopoly police quiet.
However, having just watched The Virtual Revolution's slightly scary documentary on the "the cost of free?", I begin to wonder about just what unexpected consequences lie just around the corner.
Are we driving headlong to a bright and shiny new social tomorrow … or are we lemmings rushing towards the cliff?