One of the most popular ways to build a network and get to know new partners and prospects for your business is through social media. While most marketers and online entrepreneurs are very familiar with some of the social media standbys like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, there are some new players in the game, including one entry from none other than the gurus at Google – Buzz.
While it’s clear that FaceBook and Twitter enjoy uber popularity in the world of social media, we all know that when it comes to innovation and prolific invention, Google rules. They have once again raised the stakes in recent days with the introduction of Buzz- Google’s latest social media contender. The verdict is still out on Buzz- in fact it is so new that most of us are still trying to figure out exactly what it is- and how on earth we became a part of it without even trying.
If you make use of any of Google’s technological favorites, like Gmail, for example, you’ve likely seen the icon and label for Buzz suddenly show up in your list of folders on your Gmail page. The familiar red, blue and yellow balled icon popped up and led millions of Gmail users to click onto Buzz to see what all the fuss is about. What a surprise when you get there and see that you have followers and are in fact following others. Your contacts who use Gmail are now your fellow buzzers and you are automatically following them. Like other types of social media, you will see blog posts and other posts, with the organization that only Google can consistently obtain. You have several (maybe dozens or more) threaded conversations, so you can all keep up with each others’ conversations.
You can share photos, updates and your Google Reader information, Picasso updates and Google Chat talks all right in Google Buzz – and in fact, you will do so automatically, unless you opt out. This little feature is creating a stir amongst users, who aren’t used to having these kinds of decisions simply made for them. We are all quite used to double opt-in, permission based marketing, so to have the Google Giant take it upon themselves to share our stuff in a whole new app without our permission is upsetting plenty of people.
Other Google users are feeling a bit of overwhelm in the social media world. After all, how much time do we have to continually socialize when we’re trying to earn a living with our blogs and websites? It appears that Google’s motivation is to spare us some time, with their automated participation.
There is a link on the bottom of Gmail’s page to opt out of Buzz, but from some appearances, the application will occasionally add you back in, even after you opt out. So what is the consensus about Google’s latest product? The jury is still out, but don’t be surprised if the Buzz wears off rather quickly.