Google Buzz

Google Buzz is a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting. It's built right into Gmail, so you don't have to peck out an entirely new set of friends from scratch — it just works. If you think about it, there's always been a big social network underlying Gmail. Buzz brings this network to the surface by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with the most. Google focused on building an easy-to-use sharing experience that richly integrates photos, videos and links, and makes it easy to share publicly or privately (so you don't have to use different tools to share with different audiences). Plus, Buzz integrates tightly with your existing Gmail inbox, so you're sure to see the stuff that matters most as it happens in real time.


Google Buzz on mobile


On your phone, Google Buzz is much more than just a small screen version of the desktop experience. Mobile devices add an important component to sharing: location. Posts tagged with geographical information have an extra dimension of context — the answer to the question "where were you when you shared this?" can communicate so much. And when viewed in aggregate, the posts about a particular location can paint an extremely rich picture of that place. Check out the Mobile Blog for more info about all of the ways to use Buzz on your phone, from a new mobile web app to a Buzz layer in Google Maps for mobile.


Google Buzz with Google Reader


Getting started with Google Buzz is easy. Just head over to Gmail and you'll be able to link up your Google Reader account with just a few clicks. Then, anything you share in Reader will automatically be posted to Buzz. Comments are even shared between both products, so you can view and participate in the conversation wherever you'd prefer.


Google Buzz on eLearning


All in all a very interesting new tool to experiment with, so what could such a tool do for eLearning? Google keeps a lot of these features are in perpetual beta, it’s early days yet and who knows how this new tool will evolve. However, even its current form, it’s a significant reinvention of email. Buzz has the potential for great impact because a large bulk of individuals in the workplace still use email as the primary communication tool, It will continue to be a very powerful tool used for sharing ideas, information, links, pictures, video and almost any digital format that can be attached and exchanged. The ability to see threaded conversations with people you actually interact with is another key feature of email.

Email was user to user or user to groups of users; the Buzz sharing metaphor is different, more Web 2.0 – allowing one to post messages that can be shared with multiple individuals at a time. Another very cool thing is that the people you “follow” are auto-generated from the people you tend to email. If you communicate with them, they seed your buzz cloud. Over a period of usage, as you comment, like or dislike buzz entries that come from those you follow, the buzz cloud adapts.

Buzz can also aggregate content from other social sharing sites, Flicks, Picasa, Twitter, and YouTube. Buzz emulates or rather brings some features of Google Wave to Gmail. Every Buzz item can be turned into a conversation (like in Friendfeed or Wave.) People can comment on your Buzz, comment on your comments, or @ reply to you as in Twitter.

All in all, these features integrated into a single platform have much potential for eLearning. As a learner, a tool that lets me connect socially and which integrates with a communication service I use everyday has exceptional value.


How do you see Buzz helping in workplace learning?

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