Google’s Buzz: The future of social networking?

If you have a Gmail account, you undoubtedly now know about Buzz. Google snuck up on its Gmail users Wednesday and introduced its new Facebook-like application folded right into Gmail. Amazingly, there was little or no talk about Buzz before its launch (Google kept it under wraps), but social media is going crazy with talk about it today!

It will take a while to figure out whether this is the next greatest thing in social networking, but with Google behind it, that’s a good bet. Google is becoming synonymous with the Internet and social networking. Consider Gmail, YouTube, Picasa, Blogger, iGoogle, Google Reader, Google Calendar, Blogger, Feedburner, Google Earth, Google Maps, Android and, of course, the massive Google Search engine and its hugely profitable AdWords.

What are we to think of Google? Has it become the all-powerful Big Brother – constantly spidering through our profiles, emails and Internet usage habits while robbing us of all our privacy for the sake of targeted advertising and the enormous profits it generates – or an incredibly efficient, inexpensive and effective way for us as consumers to organize and use the Internet?

The products Google offers are almost irresistable. Now with Buzz, we can create new social networks incorporated with our email, photo web albums (Picasa), calendar, blogs, videos and more.

We are going to keep a close eye on Buzz and will be exploring its value over the next several weeks. Don’t be surprised to see it appear sometime this year in some way as piece of WEAC’s growing arsenal of social networking tools. In the meantime, take a look at this video, and let me know what you think of Buzz.

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