Why Users Like Mashable Make Google Buzz Hard To Adopt

March 15th, 2010 by

The social web is one of my favorite online activities, second only to my love for search engine optimization. When Google launched, err, force fed us Buzz I’ll admit I was excited. The opportunity to interact with fellow Googlers in a Twitter-like format inside of Gmail sounded promising; however my adoption of Buzz hasn’t been as promising as I had hoped.

What Google Buzz offers in the ability to connect with fellow Googlers across many Google properties, it lacks in organization and ability to easily sort through conversation.  When I signed up for Buzz I hit up my usual suspects; friends, fellow internet marketers and of course the infamous Matt Cutts. A short while later I was also forced to mute the first Buzz from Matt because the noise that surrounded his first Buzz post was ridiculous.

Since then I have added a number of other friends, marketers, and the like, but also made the mistake of adding the Social Media giant Mashable.  Don’t get me wrong I love Mashable and it’s staff. They are a great resource, that I look to daily. Unfortunately for me, so do a number of other people. Mashable’s quick adoption of Google Buzz lead them to become one of the noisiest channels in my Buzz feed. Thankfully, Google silenced our inboxes to stop the overwhelming e-mails from popular users, but it still hasn’t been enough.

I use Buzz once every few days. I’ll skim it for something interesting, but for the most part don’t find any value that I couldn’t get from Twitter, and what I would get from twitter would be easier to follow and less cluttered.  You see once you dive into a conversation from a popular user like Mashable you are quickly overwhelmed by the sheer noise from the responses that follow.  Unlike twitter you see everything, even if you aren’t connected with the users commenting.

When Plurk launched a few years back and I did a Twitter versus Plurk comparison, I mentioned the value in this and how Plurk changed the way the SEO community interacted. Unfortunately where it was a strength for Plurk, it seems to be a weakness for Google. Whether it’s the lack of graphical representation of users, or simply because the conversations going on are on a much larger scale I simply can’t seem to get myself to dive into the conversation and engage users the way I have on sites like Twitter and Plurk. This lack of engagement has made it really hard for me to accept Buzz into my social habits creating interaction generated solely by Twitter and updates from services like Friend Feed and Google Reader. Unless Google can somehow make conversations easier to follow where there is graphical representation of users or some sort of way to toggle conversation only from people you are friends with, I am more than certain I will never be able to incorporate Google Buzz into my regular social habits.

What are your thoughts on lengthy conversation strings on Buzz? Do you find it hard to engage people when you are digging through conversations like this? Would it be more helpful if there was graphical representation of users?

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