Google Buzz FAQ

by Ruud Hein February 10th, 2010 

What is Google Buzz?

Google Buzz is a social sharing service. With it you can easily share links, videos, photos and status updates with the public, specific groups or individuals.

Where can I get Google Buzz? Or: How Can I Get Google Buzz?

Google Buzz is a service integrated with Gmail; Google's email service. Each Gmail account has Google Buzz in it.

How do I know if I have Google Buzz?

Do I have Google Buzz?

Once you have Google Buzz it will appear in the sidebar of Gmail, right under your Inbox.

How do I connect, friend or follow people in Google Buzz?

Google Buzz takes the following and friending out of your hands. People in your Gmail setup, your Google Chat and the people you follow in Google Reader can be in your Google Buzz network.

Google Buzz initially populates your Buzz network based on your Gmail history; people you interact with show up.

Google Buzz monitors which items you like or dislike in your Buzz network. It also pulls in information from things you like and dislike in Google Reader and possibly other Google services.

Based on those likes and dislikes as well as who you engage with on the network, Google will suggest other people to add to your network.

Can I decide myself who I follow, unfollow, or block?

Yes, you can manually follow someone but also manually decide to unfollow or block them.

What can I buzz? What can I share via Google Buzz?

You can post status updates, links, photos, videos.

You can reply to people's posted items (Buzzs?), marked an item as LIKE or DISLIKE.

You can talk directly to a person by using the @ notation made popular on Twitter.

Commenting or replying to an item bumps that item to the top of the Buzz stream.

You can also automatically share items you post on other social sites. Some of the sites that can be aggregated into Google Buzz include Twitter, Facebook and Google Picasa.

Can I choose who I share items with?

Yes.

You can share a Google Buzz item publicly or privately.

Google Buzz will remember the last option your choose and pick that one for your next item as well " unless you set it differently that time.

Private items can be shared with an individual user or with user groups. User groups are defined by you.

Will Google Buzz appear in my regular Inbox?

Yes, some items do.

When items that you share or comment on receive replies, the buzz will appear as an email thread in your inbox the way regular email threads do.

Can I disable Google Buzz? Or: How to disable Google Buzz?

Click the  Disable Buzz link that appears at the bottom of every page in your Gmail.

Is Google Buzz a Twitter or Facebook killer?

No.

The popularity of a social network service isn't defined by its availability, presence or features. In the end its popularity is defined by the users.

As the presence of users you want to follow determines the value of the service, every additional user on a network increases the value of that network.

Millions of people have invested good time and energy to build up their information and network on services like Facebook and Twitter while only a fraction of web users in North America and Europe use Gmail, let alone Google Buzz: the chance to be able to hook up with a family member on Facebook is much better than on Google Buzz.

Moving to another service thus becomes a lot like leaving family, friends and all your belongings behind; they don't move with you while there is no common, easy way to pull your "stuff" out of one network and move it to another.

Why isn't Google Buzz a Facebook killer?

Connectivity with other people (see above).

Google Buzz is in many ways more like Twitter; a stream of items, a buzz. Google Buzz doesn't house content. While you can share photos, videos, text, and status updates via Google Buzz, you can store photos, videos, text and status updates on Facebook.

The latter is a huge issue for many users. To learn how to use Facebook (one site) is one thing; to learn how to upload photos to Flickr (and share them elsewhere), videos to YouTube (and share them elsewhere), post items to a blog (and share them elsewhere) is quite something else.

Is Google Buzz available for Google Apps for Domains?

No. Google Buzz is not available for Google Apps users, only for regular Gmail accounts.

How can I remove Buzz from my Inbox?

If you're one of the people who say "I don't want Buzz in my inbox!" simply create a filter that moves messages with the label buzz out of your inbox.

1. Create a filter for label:buzz

2. Click Next Step and ignore the warning that no incoming messages will be filtered.

3. Check Skip the Inbox

4. Click Create Filter.

5. Mission accomplished.

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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6 Responses to “Google Buzz FAQ”

  1. joannieri says:

    There are ads appearing all over the net right now speaking of the "false friendships" that the social media are encouraging. (People saying things like, "Look, I have 2000 friends.")

    I am wondering what your opinion is.

    The thrust of the ads is that when we use something like FaceBook what we are actually doing is talking to ourselves. There is no depth to the relationships, and therefore no meaning.

    I suppose from a business perspective it makes sense to have lots of contacts, but, even there, the average Joe doesn't have deep knowledge or deep skill to share, and therefore no product, unless they are doing something like online recruiting for a project like Linda Christas.

    So, instead of getting deep knowledge or deep skill, folks are spending their time (the ads say) mistaking their opinions for having something worthwhile to say.

    What say you about this?

    I have noticed that folks are getting involved in social media, set up great blogs, etc, and then lacking anything really substantial to say other than a photo of fido puking on the floor.

    I'm looking for the other side of this argument. I know my doctor just gave his FaceBook account up telling me it was consuming lots of his time, and he actually had a life to live, and duties to perform off net.

    That's my whole point. People who actually have a life and duties to perform probably won't be on the net claiming thousands of paper thin acquaintances. Yes? No?

    Joan

  2. It was easy for me to give Google buzz a pass. I don't consider that I have something in common with someone simple because he or she has a gmail account. In fact, it seems that most people have gmail accounts to protect their primary accounts from spammers.

    When used well, Twitter is extraordinary for interacting with others. Different people have different styles, but with some thoughtful planning, it can be powerful.

    As to Facebook … it has a long life and is by far the largest social network in the world. At least, according to to Wikipedia.

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