What’s the Buzz? Buzz

A Google search for the term Google Buzz returns 72,400,000 hits. Google Buzz Twitter returns 53,100,000. This is considerable, given the relative new shininess of the Google Buzz functionality. But isn’t Buzz just like Twitter in Google? Is it a Twitter killer? What the heck is it?

A brief glance reveals that technology blogs have been ablaze with Buzz for the past month. Mashable.com proclaims that Google Buzz has “completely changed the game.” TechCrunch says, “If Google Wave Is the Future, Google Buzz Is the Present” while Gizmodo simply asks “What is Google Buzz?” The Buzz buzz, however, seems to create more questions than it provides answers. I posed a question to Twitter this morning and got some interesting responses. I asked, “I’m writing a blog post about Twitter vs. Buzz and want to know what you think! Which do you prefer? Why?”

Kevin O’Shea, of Purdue, responded, “Twitter. My network of people are already there, and my workflow is such that I can swim through the noise easier.”

David L. Mulder, of Michigan State University replied, “Twitter. Has to do with network effects; more people I know are on Twitter, I get more value out of it.”

Others followed suit, claiming that lack of activity in their Buzz streams were “Buzz = ‘meh,’” “hardly Buzz inducing” and that the Buzz UI made finding information of interest difficult.

I was ready to proclaim a victory of sorts for Twitter when I received the following message from Ari B. Adler, Communications Administrator at Delta Dental, located in Okemos, MI. Adler says:

I use Buzz much more sparingly than Twitter, but that’s because I use it more intimately than Twitter. I generally will connect with anyone on Twitter but I’m trying to restrict my Buzz contacts to those folks who are in my Gmail address book. I’ve tried to use Buzz for feeds from sites like Mashable, but the quantity of buzzes became bothersome. I have an even larger flow of information occurring on Twitter, but since I use Tweetdeck, I can get the information into a more manageable format than I can with Buzz.

I’m sure Buzz has a place in the social networking realm — certainly it’s more useful for me than Wave is. I’ve also been impressed with the Google team’s willingness to listen to users and make upgrades very quickly. In the end, I’ll continue using Buzz, but nothing’s topping Twitter right now as the nozzle on my social media fire hose.

And like that, my perspective changed. Perhaps Buzz isn’t missing the mark; perhaps I’m so used to the swirling, tumultuous action of Twitter that I’ve forgotten that social media can be effective on a small scale as well. Perhaps this intimacy is more effective, depending on the objectives set. Twitter is my number one networking tool. It connects me to friends across the country, colleagues in my field, and professional development opportunities I’m unable to travel to. What’s YOUR Buzz? What do you think of the Buzz vs. Twitter debate, and what do you find most useful when it comes to their use?

One Response

  1. [Note: This comment has been moved to Do You Speak Livemocha? An Interview with Clint Schmidt.]

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