This is a version of my Belfast Telegraph column for this week:
Less than a month ago Google launched their social networking and messaging tool Google Buzz to a largely lukewarm reception. In late 2007 Google acquired the Jaiku social network that could have been strong competition for Twitter, but they didn’t appear to give it much support. So will Buzz have the support Jaiku should have had and be real competition? I asked the question through both Buzz and Twitter.
The first response was from James Scott (through Buzz) who runs the NITech Blog. “Simplicity is the key. With Twitter you know exactly what you’re getting – it's simple and does what it says on the tin. What's the killer feature of Buzz to draw in the masses?”
And these comments through Twitter
@webireland – “Google zzz in my opinion. Half hearted attempt using Gmail user base for leverage.”
@iChrisTaylor – “Buzz allows more user interaction, better development of conversations. Don't think it'll replace FB just yet.”
More expansive comments were posted on my blog. Russell McQuillan said “The problem with getting into ‘another’ social networking site, is finding friends that you regularly converse with on other platforms. Google have made this slightly handier with your Gmail contacts being already in the “following” list however Facebook and Twitter go way beyond that, how am I supposed to find them? Ask them for an email address? Did emails not go out with the fax machine?”
Patrick Kane said “Privacy concerns have been a major, major talking point. Within the first few days of launch the tech community have been pointing out things such as the automatic integration with Gmail, private email addresses being revealed in replies etc. Yes, Google have tackled some of the issues but it’s been a bit of a PR disaster.”
Phil O'Kane’s comment was “Like so many of Google’s products, Buzz is not integrated into Google Apps, which I use rather than my old Gmail address. There is a mobile version available which I have been using, and by going to their Google profile (or checking my friends list of followees and followers) I have been able to follow people.
“There isn’t much difference between this and FriendFeed – and like Wave, it seems to have been released a little earlier than it should have been in order to iron out its numerous flaws.”
But the last word goes to @_d_a_v_e_ “Thanks for the reminder to check mine. Definitely ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”