What's The Buzz Around Google Buzz?

"What's buzzy, people?" - a phrase we hear all too often to start out our morning meetings here at TOTN. We chat about what you're chatting about, from the aftermath of Snowmaggedon to the strategy behind the Marjah offensive.

While Google's newest creation hasn't come up this week (to my recollection), I'm sure those of you GMail users can see my connection. Google Buzz — the company's biggest foray into social-networking — is a tool receiving cheers and jeers from all over. With an update/feed system similar to Twitter and Facebook-like features (you can "like" your friends' posts as well!), Buzz pulls your updates from your favorite sites and shares them with your GMail buds. Flickr, Picasa, Blogger — you name it, Buzz can post it.

From the development of a web browser to a mobile operating system, Google seems to be "taking over the world," so to speak. But not everyone agrees with Google's effort to catch up in the future of communication. Katherine Boehret of the Wall Street Journal gives a breakdown on Buzz, and sucks out some of the honey in the process:

One of the biggest problems with Buzz is that it's late to the social-networking party. People have had years to get comfortable with networks like Facebook and Twitter, and old habits are hard to kick. Microsoft and Yahoo already incorporate social networking into their Web email in Windows Live Hotmail and the Yahoo Mail, respectively. Windows Live Hotmail lets users create networks of friends and connects with up to 69 other networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Yahoo also builds networks with your connections, and integrates content into email from sites like Twitter, Flickr and Picasa.

And that's only half of the story! Google Buzz has also felt a privacy backlash in regards to the amount of information each user can potentially share with another. (Note: Google offered the service to everyone, contrary to its previous invite-only programs like Google Voice and Wave). Of course, if you're not a fan of Buzz, you can always turn it off with the click of a mouse at the bottom of your GMail home screen. While I contemplate ridding myself of one more site to check daily, I'm interested to see if Buzz will catch on with the style and grace of Facebook... which now serves as the web's top timesink.

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