Sunday, 21 November 2010

Engagement - Google Buzz

Often heralded as dead, Buzz continues to be my preferred network for "conversation".
The conversation can be more interesting than the post.
  • Conversation builds trust.
  • Trust builds relationships.
  • Relationships lead places.
The conversation which happened around one Buzz post lead to:
  • An introduction.
  • A request for contact.
  • Opportunities (for supplier and consumer).
I've quoted a relevant block of the conversation below, with links to the profiles at the end of the post.
The entire original thread is here (note: it could differ from what is quoted if participants have since edited their comments).


"John Gotts - It's dead. I use it to follow five or six people that write great content, including you, Scoble, Arrington, anything from TechCrunch... The point is that I now only use it as a side tool to keep up on the thoughts of a few tech luminaries, where I can then also engage in some light conversation or comment on what's being said.
There are so few people here now that the comment threads typically are readable, which they weren't when it first appeared.
I think they f'd up so bad when they first started that they spoiled their chances. It may come back over time but to me it's now more like a personal chat between a few friends. That said, it's still more of a community feel than Twitter. That said, Twitter is now more of a news blast and spam space and Facebook is where real conversations between friends occurs.
Buzz is dead or dying or alive and dying. That's what the the survey says and that's how it feels when you're here at the site.

Thomas Tenkely - @John Gotts To you maybe, if your purpose is to follow big industry names. I have more activity here with my friends and family than I do on Facebook and Twitter combined.

John Gotts - If you remember when Buzz first came out it was being heralded as a potential Twitter killer.
They had tens of millions of people to aim at their startup but by attaching it to people's private email contacts it was sued and frightened many away.
Then the spam in the blog posts started and now I'm not really sure what's left.
If it's for you to contact your family and friends I just think Facebook has a better platform and keeps out the spammers by forcing a friend request.
They have different models but I'm not sure that what you're using it for is what Buzz hoped for.
Perhaps if it'd been a stand-alone product hyped on the front of Google they would have done better. It just seems like it went from 120 MPH to about 20 MPH and isn't speeding up.
IMHO and just my observation.

Robert Wallis - @John Gotts the launch was a balls up, sure.
I don't find spam a problem. I unfollow and block where needed.
Buzz isn't feature complete by a long way. Really needs some filtering: http://bit.ly/bTKlI8

Tracy Crawford - @John Gotts You need to follow more people. There are so many tech people here that actually post from different feeds that I limit them and look for other sources of information.

John Gotts - On Twitter I follow over a thousand people I respect and look forward to trolling through the short posts.
On Facebook I have about a thousand "friends" in Idaho, where I'm going to be running for state senate in 2011/12. I also connect with family on Facebook from immediate to cousins and distant relatives, old school chums, etc.
On Google Buzz I come to read posts from a VERY small group of brilliant people, I just added Jolie O'Dell, and TechCrunch, which I believe keeps me well-informed. The best part is that I can participate in conversations with these people and now that Buzz has become such a ghost town it's vastly decreased the amount of noise.
Too, by following so few people on Buzz it's easy to see and report a post spammer and alert the good people who own the account and can delete the bad guy/gal.
So it isn't that I don't follow enough people, it's just that I use Buzz to actually remark on posts from a very few people and I use Twitter to get the sandblast from a thousand brilliant minds.
I.e. Life is short, the days don't hold enough hours or weeks to days, months don't hold enough weeks and the year doesn't hold enough months to follow and read everyone.
Cheers! (-8

Denis Labelle - @John Gotts: It is not that Google Buzz as a platform is dead, it is the people that you've mentioned and follow here that are "dead" (Twitter to Buzz posting). Zero conversation. As much as I enjoy their insights, I don't follow them here but on their blog/site/etc.
John, you can't just post/tweet, sit and wait. You need to learn about how to engage in social media . I would suggest you to read "Engage" by Brian Solis.
P.S.: Talking about Brian, I don't follow him here but on his blog where we can have conversation/debate.

Robert Wallis - Whatever works for you John Gotts
Time is an issue for us all an the conversational aspect of Buzz can be a time sink.
For me following more works because I make use often of mute for conversations which pop back up in the stream that I'm not interested in, and mute in inbox for conversations which have derailed that I have been involved in.

Denis Labelle - @Robert Wallis: +1

@John Gotts: I took some time to have a look at your fan page on Facebook.
IMHO, again, it is not about the platforms but the way you are using them and this is not only you. Look at all the "big names" here on buzz, they just "dump" content or do "cross-platform posting" (a big "no no" for me or for reputation). When I am posting on Buzz, I am here. Not via Twitter, Blog, Facebook, "from the web", etc. When I post/comment/follow on FB, I am on FB. So no "Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or Seesmic". But, that's me and my approach/strategy.
Also, the old approach of "posting & getting comments" is gone/over (especially when you are the only one posting or even worst, on multiple platforms in "one shot"). It won't last. Engaging and getting the most out of you social media "strategy" can be resumed in 3 words: ask, listen, monitor. It is not about "me", it is about them . Feel free to have a look (and get an idea) at our Fan page for the Japanese clothing store UNIQLO that we built in a matter of months. 190 000 fans coming from all around the world, sharing in multiple languages & media. And this is a foreign brand, with no budget, from Montreal. Observe how the fans are the content providers, not us. We ask/engage, listen and monitor and this, very much part time: http://www.facebook.com/UniqloCo
P.S.: good luck with your campaign.

John Gotts - Thanks Denis. I actually just took a look at your posts and your site and find the things you did on FB very interesting. I've not yet started on my fan page, I've just started making connections to locals so that I can understand what their needs are and engage in solution creation as a social event.
I tried to reach you at your office but only got through to the sales recording.
Cheers.

Denis Labelle - @John Gotts: send me a private message here on Buzz via my Gprofile. I will reply as soon as possible. Have a nice weekend.

John Gotts - @Denis Labelle - done. Thanks and have a great weekend
."

Participants: John Gotts, Thomas Tenkely, Robert Wallis, Tracy Crawford, Denis Labelle
Mentioned: Brian Solis
Network: Google Buzz


Post background:
Jacob Friedman (@jacobdfriedman) and I had a couple of exchanges after I made a Buzz post in response to a TNW article where he said Buzz was so unused it was "perpetually unchecked ...".
There was an exchange on Twitter which I Buzzed about. He posted an article with a Buzz poll "dead, dormant, still alive" which I replied to on Buzz.
Sounds like a tit-for-tat-spat, but we've since tweeted back and forth and everything seems cool.


Conclusion:
Buzz is a very small conversational network.
As an asymmetrical network it allows users to engage in an intuitive manner that isn't possible on Facebook.

  • Conversation builds trust.
  • Trust builds relationships.
  • Relationships lead places.
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