Google today announced "Buzz", their attempt to merge the worlds of social computing with e-mail. Buzz adds social tracking features to your in-box, allowing you to see the social activity of your contacts. So what's not to like?
I think the biggest issue with Buzz is its reliance on Gmail. Google makes the assumption that your e-mail contacts are your buddies, but that's not necessarily the case. I've got a lot of folks in my in-box who are business or casual acquaintances, or whom are on mailing lists that I'm on, and who aren't friends I'd want to follow. The people I want to follow are all in my Facebook account, but Google doesn't yet connect to Facebook. If there's a "killer app" that will move people from Facebook to Google, I don't see it. Buzz may have some use as another social computing channel, but at this point I don't see it replacing Facebook (or even LinkedIn).
Where Buzz, I think, has the greatest appeal is in creating a social community within companies using Gmail or Google apps as their corporate messaging environment. Buzz just fired a shot across the bow of all the social computing software or service vendors targeting SMBs. If you are already paying for a corporate Gmail service, you just got a whole suite of social tools as well.
There is one other problem, it doesn't work. At this point I don't see the "Buzz" link in my Gmail in-box, and from following various twitter comments, neither do many others.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.