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  • Karthik Sridhar (@AntarYaami)

    Right On.

    Still, for the sake of an argument, the following..

    I think Google Wave would have been successful, they had completely replaced Gmail with it. Something Color TV did to B/W TV & Radio.

    Here is my (conspiracy) theory: Had Google not been “too big to fail” and carried on in its entrepreneurial spirit, they would have launched Wave replacing Gmail. Its what they wanted and envisioned.

    It would have eliminated the need for email and chat and continual development of both the products. But the wise ones would have weighed their options and found that the move today will be perceived as drastic. It had negatives not just for the brand but also the investors. They far outweighed the positives.

    Wave was introduced, however, because it still was a breakthrough technology, whichever way you saw it. And Google is known to come up with such innovations. But the way it was released, limited invites, no user manual (!) made sure it only ended up being a Cherry Coke to Coke.

    Buzz is a typical Salesman’s reaction to the competition’s discount offer. While Wave was supposed to engulf the top user markets, Twitter swayed a lot of attention towards itself, everywhere (Iran, for instance). Facing that, Google sought the most convenient part of a new product development. Gmail. Extending their second most successful product into the Social Media would, typically give them
    a ready user base. Their thought must have been something close to: “Hey, everyone uses Gmail dont they? And what could they be writing through their personal email ids anyway? Forget that I know what they need. They should ‘network’ together even more” Shazzaaammm – BUZZ. Just like that, you have a twitter clone in your mailbox, for which you dont even need to download an API client, or be restricted to 140 characters. You can even ‘like’ the buzz, while adding photos. Buzz was Twitter meets Facebook meets Google interface. And since you’ve been such a good boy, we’ll give it to you on Gmail.

    Twitter does let me chose the face I want to see on my timeline. That is because, like Facebook, it wasn’t relying on my past experience with another Twitter product. It was a fresh start.

    Buzz, was an afterthought. And their-in lies the difference.


  • Karthik Sridhar (@AntarYaami)

    Wait, i started out wanting to make an argument..but digressed. Oh well.

  • Good post. Since Gmail adds email ID’s of everyone I mail to (including the subscription department of Time magazine) I too wondered why I would share my buzz with them or vice versa. Still early days, let’s see how this evolves.

  • Anita Lobo

    I had the same eewww feeling about buzzing ppl on my gmail contact list.
    Bw goog and fb, privacy is flowing into a mucky open drain.
    Not comforting at all.
    Oh and tell me again, how does buzz help me reduce time suck or my workload?

  • Karthik S

    Karthik: I like the ‘after thought’ angle – makes perfect sense. It seems to be like a mash of IM and mail and it’s no wonder it’s nowhere.

    Anita: No, it does not reduce time suck – if anything, it’d add more people to your social network online and add significantly more noise.

  • Karthik S

    lbhat: I’m still willing to try it out and make something out of it – I like the way Google uncomplicates online things much like Apple does with the hw/sw combo (let’s not discuss the pricing strategy, but). Right now Buzz looks like it is meant for those who did not want to join Twitter or were afraid to join Twitter. How much and why I’d want to interact with that bunch – I’m not clear yet, but I’m willing to wait and watch.

  • Jesu

    Hey, you are allowed to edit the lists of your followees and followers right? So can’t you just go there and knock off people who you don’t like :-)? I’m guessing the real reason why Google took this automatic route was to ensure dialogues start immediately. And, that really has worked for them. If not for the automatic lists, I honestly would not have gone and invited people to follow me on Buzz. Am really happy with FB and Twitter.. Why would I bother with another one unless it is dramatically better, which Buzz is not yet..

  • Karthik S

    Jesu: Absolutely – one can add/ delete all we want. But the basic premise is that this is my email contacts list – not necessarily my online social world. I should be choosing my online worlds, not Google, that too, by default.

  • I agree wholeheartedly. I just put out a sample post yesterday. And I’ve got replies from people I rarely talk to regularly. Apparently, they ‘follow’ me & can see me. I can see all their replies in the same timeline, and I’m not sure if my replies can be seen by all. Or if other people’s replies can be seen by all my friends. For now, I’m not going to use it.

  • Yaju

    Being an Oracle guy, the following SQL query came to my mind upon seeing Buzz.

    select substr(‘Dont be evil’,6) from Google where app_name in (‘Buzz’, ‘Wave’, ‘Android’, ‘Chrome’);

  • Jim

    I agree.

    Click on the little beaker (actually an Ehrlenmayer Flask) at the top right of the GMail page. That brings up “labs” — I guess. Go all the way to the bottom. In very small print is a link “Shut Off Buzz”.

    Shut off Buzz.

    There. Have a Pepsi. On me.

  • Thanks for the tip, Jim.

    Buzz strikes me as presumptuous. I’ve been trying to get away from having multiple email addresses (family, business, other business, friends, other friends) but Buzz’s current M.O. makes me hesitate to combine everyone. There’s something to be said for compartmentalization.

  • Nice post. You hit the nail on the head.I too agree with you. Its highly intrusive into my private life. I find it irritating and will disable it soon.

  • Sounds like the same old Baby Boomer fear of blurring the distinction between personal and professional loves. Millenials are way beyond this and the old folks (myself included) wither get with it or get marginalized.

    Face it fanboy, the world is a changin’

  • Rafeek

    Hey guys..

    Everything gets perfect in time.. lets give google the time for perfection..Facebook and twitter were too a strange thing for the crowd in the begining..

  • Karthik S

    Joe R/ Rafeek: As I mentioned in my post, I’m willing to give it a try and I’ve not switched it off yet. But to me, it seems like Google is trying to attract people who haven’t warmed up to other networks yet – they seem to be the ones who are most interested in the service.

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  • Jesu
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