Introducing Google Buzz

Google made a big announcement this week – they introduced their entry to compete in the social media space. They introduced Google Buzz.

Here’s a simple list of FAQ for you to know more about Google Buzz:-
What is Google Buzz?
In short, Google Buzz is like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and all that in one. You can update your status, share a link (random / from your RSS feeds through Google Reader), pictures and albums (from Google’s Picasa), start a discussion, etc. Unlike Twitter, you are not limited to 140 characters.
Check out the video on Google Buzz here.

Why would they start another social media site?
We all know how Facebook and Twitter has taken over the world. Even Microsoft is linking their next version of Microsoft Outlook to LinkedIn (the business social media). Google has now created their own version.
You can link your other accounts to feed into your Google Buzz like Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc but not Facebook right now. Unfortunately though, the feed is only one way. Meaning, your Twitter messages will show on Buzz but your Buzz update will not be fed into Twitter.
How do I get Google Buzz?

If you have a Google account, specifically Gmail, you will have Google Buzz. There should be a page to allow you to activate Google Buzz when you try to login to your Gmail. Or you can go to the Google Buzz site here.

If you don’t see it, don’t worry. Google is launching this in phases for all their users, so hang in there. Once you get Google Buzz, you should see an extra link underneath “Inbox” link on your Gmail. Click on it and start to setup your online profile.
How do I add friends / followers?

First, you need to setup your Google Buzz profile through your Gmail.

You don’t need to add or invite new friends to join, because Google automatically screens through your most contacted friends on Gmail and add them to your list of followers. You can choose to follow them or simply use the search function to add new people to follow on Buzz.

Will I get flooded by e-mails the way I get Facebook and Twitter updates?
In a way, yes. But don’t worry, because there are no ridiculous things like “pokes” and “vampire bites” on Buzz. You get genuine conversation starters or threads like in a normal e-mail conversation… with your followers.
All updates comes in your Gmail inbox – which is where you access your Google Buzz account anyway!
How popular is this thing and will it really take off?
I can’t say for sure. The industry have reacted to it very differently. But here’s some pretty interesting reads since their launch.
PS. Don’t want to flood you with too much links about Google Buzz. Just want to show you that a lot of the tech sites and Web 2.0 social media experts are already on the Google Buzz bandwagon. Mashable even created their own micro-channel on their page dedicated specifically to Google Buzz here.

What’s new or cool about it that’s different with the other sites?
Google Buzz for mobile. Click here to read about it.
Combining Buzz with Location is cool. Unlike FourSquare, where you just check in to locations and earn titles and points, Google Buzz location feature is actually a lot more useful.
For example, you can snap a picture and buzz about a traffic accident or jam and insert your location on the Buzz. No, it’s not some indecipherable Latitude and longitude numbers, it actually shows up on your Google Maps on your phone, telling you exactly where the jam / accident is.

You can also check out this video about Google Buzz for mobile. Unfortunately, it’s currently only available to iPhone and Android. Considering this is still so very new, give them some time and they will support the other phones out there.

What are people doing with their Google Buzz account?
Generally, a lot of the tech sites have adopted Google Buzz. They’re so quick to even create “Buzz Me” buttons on their sites and articles.

Mostly, Google Buzz is now used for conversation starters. You have a question you want to ask people and they can reply like a group discussion / brainstorm. You can share a photo album publicly or privately. Well, some say, it’s almost just like Facebook. It’s not so much Twitter, since you’re given more than 140 characters and instead of Re-Tweeting, @replies or Direct Message, you just post our reply and other people can see it and contribute or comment to it. Well, like in a discussion!

Now for some shameless promotion…

I have setup my account and created my profile for WinnieKepala on Google Buzz. Unlike the bigger tech sites out there, I don’t have fancy “Follow Me” buttons for you to click and follow my Buzz. However, you can click here to go to WinnieKepala’s Google Buzz profile and follow me.

This is rather amazing, I must say. I’ve only set it up and made a tweet about it on Twitter and I now have 9 followers!! To those 8 of you, thanks a billion once again!!!

So, what are you waiting for? If you have tried it, tell me what you think about it? Leave a comment here… or better yet, BUZZ ME!!!

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