Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Hidden Value in Buzz (for Google)

I have been using Buzz for a couple of days now. Hard to stress how delighted I am that the service came out. I hardly log in to twitter anymore, and that is definitely an accomplishment. I had previously discussed my crush on buzz here.

After using it a bit more I came to realize some of the effects that Buzz has had on me. I'm sure will have on other people as well.

Google makes great efforts in making their apps and data open to their users. It might not be as open as some people may want it to be, but go ask Microsoft to do something similar if you aren't satisfied. This makes it easy to use Google services without actually logging into Google web pages themselves. Yet it poses a problem for Google: users are outside clicking distance of adsense. For a while now, I have been using several of their services under this model:
  • Picasa pictures straight from the Picasa desktop app.
  • Gmail on Thunderbird.
  • Calendar with browser plugins.
  • Google Notebook and Bookmarks with browser plugins as well as QSB.
  • Google Contacts on Address Book, Thunderbird.
Could name more, but you get the idea. One of the coolest things about Buzz is it's integration into other Google services. I haven't opened Thunderbird once since Buzz came out. Have been religiously logging into Gmail daily. I am even "brushing the dust off" (so to speak) my old blogger account which I haven't touched in 3 years (which I used to write this).

Not only is Buzz awesome, it makes other Google services, in their native setting relevant again. Google isn't trying to force you to log into gmail, it's giving you an incentive to do so while leaving the option open to do otherwise if you so choose.

I understand there is a public API that could change the game. Given a native app, I will probably prefer it most, if not all, the time. The question is how well these apps will be able to integrate to Google and other third party services to create content. Until those apps roll around, we wont know. Yet I tend to prefer native apps with online access, than pure online counterparts. The reasons are obvious, so I wont list them here. 

Buzz is not the first, but it's an excellent example as to why online apps can have an edge over their desktop counterparts. Keep in mind I am one of the few people left on the dying bastion of last generation old geezers defending native apps. If I can see this coming, it means Google is kicking ass.

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