Google, I want my Stream

People were pretty divided on whether or not Buzz should have been put into Gmail.  I really liked that I was able to check both email and Buzz on the same page.  I am now using Google reader a lot more because of the enhanced sharing functionalities.

I am now, however, experiencing serious multiple-update-checking-itis.  I have to check twitter, and Buzz, and Email, and Reader, and Facebook… it’s tiring me out.  I can’t keep up.  I don’t have the time.

So here is my plea: Google, give me a single stream.  Please Google, put Gmail, Buzz, and Reader all into a single stream.  Make it look exactly how gmail is right now, but add little icons so I can see from what service it came from.  I know it might be a lot of updates, but it’s ok, I can scroll.

Do not stop there Google.  I want to know when my shared documents were updated.  I’d also really like to know that’s it’s my friend’s birthday, or that I have a meeting in an hour.   My brother just added Flickr photos of my nephew.. give me the heads-up (pretty please).

Make an open protocol for it.  Let me add services.  Make it easy for me to share anything that comes into my stream.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Google Buzz – Why I like it, Why I don’t

Ok, I’m back from a week long vacation and I completely miss out on the Google Buzz reveal.  I have a hundred emails to get through and a lot of work to get caught up on but I wanted to quickly post my thoughts.

Why I like Google Buzz:

  • It’s right beside my gmail.  Winer doesn’t seem to like this, but I do.
  • Commenting on posts.   @replying is just confusing, and if you’re not attached to your twitter stream it’s sometimes hard to follow what they are @’ing about.
  • The “Like” button.
  • Realtime updates.
  • It’s made by Google (I’ll explain below, try not to shout “fanboi” too soon)

Why I don’t like it:

  • Apparently, (I haven’t looked myself) the API is very weak, and it isn’t openly compatible.
  • Not available outside of gmail?
  • No retweet? How do I pass on information?
  • It’s made by Google (hah, see?)

Let me explain why I like that this is a Google product and why I don’t.  I love that Google is taking on this space because I know they will enhance it.  Let’s face it, there is nothing new here that we haven’t seem from Friendfeed, Facebook, or Twitter.  It’s all been done before, and as Robert Scoble points out… Friendfeed probably did it better.  Why I like Google driving it is because they will upgrade, and they’ll do it quickly.  Hopefully we’ll see Scoble’s “Super Tweet“, and all the other requests we’ve seen from the tech community that Twitter had been hopelessly slow to implement.  I also like Google doing it because my friends and family will actually use it.  (Please, oh please, get them off Facebook.)  And what about enterprise?  I haven’t had a chance to check out if this will integrate into Google enterprise offerings, but I would love to see this integrated.  Will most employers use Yammer?  Probably not.  But Google buzz is a better possibility.  Since all the advertising hype is centered around Social Media these days, is using Google enterprise products giving a company an online competitive advantage?  How long will it take for Buzz posts to commonly show up in Google Social Search results or Google Realtime results?

At the same time I’m excited about using Buzz I’m also afraid I’m using Google’s multi-colour bricks to seal myself into a Google corner.  I already use almost every service they make available, is there a danger Google having too much control?  I am worried to see the innovation on the internet sputter just like OS development with Microsoft.

Another quick thought: Is Twitter’s openness also a huge liability?  I already have 50 Buzz friends, almost entirely from Twitter.  Will I need Twitter in a Month?