Don’t get me wrong, I’m a G-evangelist through-and-through. I’ve been using G-stuff forever and jump on all the new stuff as soon as it comes out because I want to see how much more they’ve simplified my life. Every time I go into my Google Options I laugh because I’m using about 1/2 of the items listed almost every week, if not daily.
Lately I’ve been tinkering a lot with Latitude, Google Wave and Google Buzz. Google Latitude, I love because it’s my way of seeing where my friends are in real time. I just keep getting more and more impressed with Maps and their layering technology, I think it’s only going to get better and really pose a problem for folks like Garmin and other GPS technology companies.
Now what’s the buzz about Google Buzz? I’m sure you’ve logged into your Gmail and seen the whole Buzz invite and you probably joined in along with many of your contacts. I’m not really sold on it yet because I don’t have enough people on it to make it a necessity. I do look forward to the idea of just logging into Gmail and not having to hop over to Facebook to see what everyone is doing. I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the threading yet but think about the potential of Buzz if they add some more graphical (image) features and all of your friends using it. No longer will you have to toggle between Facebook and Gmail, you’ll be able to just log into Gmail and stay there all day while getting your Facebook chatter on. If they can prohibit farms, mafia and other spyware apps from ever being integrated, I’m sold. The cardinal rule of social media marketing, and social media in general is that you don’t take people from where they are. Everyone is moving to Gmail, if they move to Buzz as well…Facebook may start seeing some shift in usage. Kids are already starting to tone-down on FB, we may be next.
How many of you are using Wave? I started out full-bore but have cooled down to a very low simmer these days. I forced our whole company, almost, into using Wave right after it came out. I used it for document collaboration, blog outreach, partnership development and tried to do some market research with it. It’s impressive, graphical and quite easy to be up and running from login.
Both Google Buzz and Google Wave are impressive and I’m sure in the future will become in integral part of our lives. Right now I’m a wee bit frustrated with them launching Buzz and Wave when they haven’t been completely baked.
I hate to say it but for once Microsoft is doing something somewhat right, they are waiting longer to launch products (Vista aside) and getting them closer to ‘right’ than even Google. Google, I love you but Rapid Application Development doesn’t mean you have to throw all of the stuff out to the public, even in beta, without some of the basics in place. Microsoft got away with this for years and we accepted it because we had to.
I’m sure Google will end up cleaning things up, potentially eating in to Facebook’s market share and going after some Twitter numbers. They really can dominate by letting all of us just stay where we.
I talk to people all the time about effective social media marketing and the first thing I always bring up is that you can’t pull or push people away from where they are, you must reach them where they are and in a way that won’t turn people off. Google already has us with Gmail, Google Voice and several other applications, let’s see if they can keep us where we are or force us to keep heading to FB and Twitter.
Microsoft, we’re still watching you.