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社会化媒体的三国乱世:Google Buzz是刘备还是袁绍  

2010-05-08 17:54:53|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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社会化媒体的三国局面未定,无情的绞杀才刚刚开始。Facebook可以比作曹魏,Twitter犹如孙吴,凭借强大Gmai用户群的Google Buzz, 能否如豫州玄德,在这场社会化媒体的战争中奠定三分天下有其一的地位,或者如三公之后袁绍,随多门生故吏,名动天下,最终却不过是“付不起的阿斗”(语出新三国)。

Louis Gray & Thomas Hawk Buzz




(原文来源Social Media Marketing Strategies网站  )
Google Buzz is Google’s attempt at social networking and they are definitely making a statement, who it’s directed at is anyone’s guess, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft? Google is no stranger at trying to gain social networking market share, the past tells the story, Dodgeball, Jaiku, Orkut all failed horribly.

Google has learned from its mistakes and this time  has started from scratch, the key difference is that they built their own social network as opposed to acquiring one, a very smart move to say the least. Starting from scratch is not entirely true, because Buzz taps into and is part of Gmail’s several million+ user base.  It’s an instant roll-your-own social networking platform with potentially millions of willing users out the gate.

Buzz at its core is a recommendation engine, content aggregator that tries to pull in content that is relevant to your interests. They do this by looking at your existing social graph, mainly data that you already have in Google and various external services. Buzz’s algorithms are suppose to analyze users’ preferences such as, what they like and dislike, what their friends are sharing, and who they’re interacting with and makes recommendations based on this data. In the end it comes  down to who you follow, this will dictate and balance signal to noise.

How is Google Buzz different from Facebook and Twitter?

Buzz shares the same major features. Users can post new content by sharing links, photos, videos, and status updates. You can comment on and “like” friends’ content just as you do on FriendFeed or Facebook, and send @ messages to get specific users’ attention. Content such as images, and videos are viewed inline with very good quality. There is no ability to create filters or lists, something that was the def-facto standard on FriendFeed. Facebook and Twitter soon followed. Sharing content out of Buzz is non-existent, content in Buzz does give a permalink though. I suspect this will change as the product gets off the ground. It’s only been a week since Buzz launched, let’s give Google some time, and it appears that they are listening.

Auto-following

Google Buzz Follower Suggestions

Your social graph in Google Buzz when just getting started will vary from extreme to scarce.  It’s all dependent on your usage of Google products such as, Gmail, Google Reader, Google Chat, Google Contacts, and Google Profile data or lack of. It’s the data from these Google services that algorithmically creates your initial social graph. If you’re a  heavy Google user,  you automatically will have a fire hose of content and followers buzzing your way the minute you start using Buzz.  If you never used Gmail or any Google products, then your social graph will look like this. You can find people to follow by searching by their email address, profile or contact information. The suggestion engine makes friend recommendations based on your interaction in Buzz.

Update

This is how the system worked until Saturday, February 13. Google evaluated user feedback and changed course over the weeked with this blog post, stating that they are now moving to an auto-suggest model for friending.

“You won’t be set up to follow anyone until you have reviewed the suggestions and clicked “Follow selected people and start using Buzz.”

Inbox integration

Buzz by design was built into Gmail, there currently is no other way to access it, except via the mobile version. If you never used Gmail or rarley use it then get ready to start changing your routine.  I use Gmail everyday as my main mail client for both personal and professional use. I use Google Calendar, Google Tasks, Google Docs and a slew of other Google products all day long. So, yes, I live in Google, most likely the majority of you do to. My dependency on Google is comparable to a crack addict looking for his next hit. This is what Google has done now to the crack addict, is deliver the crack head his crack, oh and free of charge I might add. Hook, like and sinker.. Bravo, Google for attempting to build a social layer on top of the best email service platform in existence, the several million built in users don’t hurt either.

Google Profile integration

Your Google Profile just became social currency and collateral. It’s now more imperative than ever that your profile is up to date.  Google Profiles are your new branded outposts and for some their new business cards. Buzz is now integrated into your Google Profile, so another words, all of your Buzz activity automatically aggregates into your Google Profile. I don’t know what Google’s master plan is with Google Profiles, I’m not sure they even know, but it’s evolving quite nicely. Integrating Buzz with Google Profiles now allows for more avenues of engagement with the profile author. Previously all you could do on Google Profile is send an online message, now you can engage with their content by liking or commenting it, in real time.  The drawback is that you can’t post content directly into Buzz through your Google Profile, you can only comment and like on content aggregated in.

Google Buzz Integration with Google Profiles

Permalinks and RSS

Content aggregated and created in Buzz generates a static html permalink. The permalink can be found by looking for the time stamp on upper right hand corner. Along with permalinks there is an RSS feed, so you can easily export this data to an external source such as an RSS reader.  The permalinks enable for an infinite amount of real time micro conversations to take place, without a 140 character limit. This could be great for events, live blogging etc etc. It’s powered by Google, so it will be built to scale, just as FriendFeed did. This is great feature with unlimited uses.

Google Buzz RSS and Permalink

Buzz is a Social Search Engine

One of the things the made FriendFeed so powerful and useful was its search engine. It was a wealth of data that was mined from over 58 external services. The search engine data was only as good as its user-base. FriendFeed, while popular with early adopters, never crossed over into the mainstream in terms of users’. There was a lot of attrition because the average user just did not know what to do on the site. It remained a toy for the power users and tech bloggers. It could never come close to the social meta data that Google can and will mine from Buzz. In just the first week alone, tens of millions of people have checked Buzz out, creating over 9 million posts and comments. That’s a treasure trove of data, which surely will be indexed and utilized in Google’s main search engine.  Search has and will become more social, it’s already started and Google is quickly making progress in the changing paradigm of search and social media.

Google Buzz will have a major impact on SEO

Do a Google search on mike fruchter and the third result shown is my FriendFeed profile. That’s just a vanity search of my name. The bigger picture is the content that I have shared into FriendFeed for the past two years, it all ranks for long tail keyword traffic. Google was and still maybe indexing FriendFeed content, in near real-time, minutes, to a few hours. The contented generated in Buzz, I suspect, will play an increasing role in search engine results, your social graph will be factored heavily in the ways search engines interact with us. Once the marketers get wind of Buzz, be prepared for the onslaught of spam and SEO link foolery. The system will get gamed, to what extent or impact it makes, is anyone’s guess.

Welcome back FriendFeed, BuzzFeed!

The Day FriendFeed Died Forever


FriendFeed died when Facebook acquired it. It was around that time that I became way less active on the site and the community began to fall off. There are still plenty of die hards on the site, just a small subset of cliques. I still do aggregate my content and frequent the site, but it’s not like it used to be, it’s a carcass that is just rotting away.  I was a FriendFeed evangelist just as much as the next person, I blogged about FriendFeed, recommended people to follow on FriendFeed, established friendships with people such as, Louis Gray, Robert Scoble, ValeriaMaltoni , and Adam Singer just to name a few, gained an audience for my blog, and the list goes on. I just mourned more quietly than others. I agree with Louis Gray, Google Buzz validates but marginalizes FriendFeed.  I suspect the die hard leftover FriendFeeder’s will migrate to Buzz, this is truly the nail in FriendFeed’s coffin and I doubt Facebook cares. After all, they snapped up FriendFeed for the talent, not the platform and that’s been clearly evident.

In closing what does it all mean?

This post was about the basic nuts and bolts of Google Buzz and my initial reaction. I have been enthralled with the product for the past four days and still need to time evaluate it. From a brand perspective, it’s to early to tell if direct involvement is needed. Samsung was the first to generate some Buzz. Buzz is about discovery, sharing and communicating. At its core, Buzz is a content aggregator. If you’re a brand or marketer you will need to pay attention to this space very closely. The Buzz team has been very responsive to user feedback and I think we will start to see this product rapidly start to evolve and take shape rather quickly, perhaps faster than any other Google product launch to date.  We know Google is listening, but can they keep the momentum going? Will this be a serious social networking platform contender, or just a toy  for early adopters’ and FriendFeed deserters looking for a new place to call home? It’s way to early to tell, but it certainly has a lot of potential on many different levels.


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