Buzz may end segregation in microblogging

Yet another interesting launch this winter: Google finally published their lifestreaming application, Buzz. These are still clearly early steps for the service as it doesn't provide any APIs yet, and the user interface feels slow in a quite un-Google-like way.

However, it still shows strong potential in several ways. First of all, it may help the people raised on Twitter to discover a more conversational culture. And secondly, it connects to any website providing some necessary feeds, promising an end to segregation where you had to follow some of your friends on Twitter, some in Qaiku and some in Facebook. If all those sites start providing proper feeds you can just follow everybody in the interface of your choosing.

buzz-in-gmail.png

What is even more promising is that instead of being built on direct API linkage between designated partner sites, all of this is based on quite simple building blocks of the upcoming semantic web: social graph discovery, Atom activity feeds, and possibly the Salmon comments aggregation protocol. Your website, marked up in a semantic way is your "API". This means any site can join the play, not just the big players.

But to be fully usable Buzz needs to provide a few things:
  • Language filtering. I had to unfollow some Portuguese-speaking friends already
  • Discovery of interesting discussions. Now I only see things my friends post, not the things they comment
  • Groups or channels people can post to
  • and yes, Salmon so comments to my posts on Buzz will trickle down to Qaiku or my blog
As things stand for now, Qaiku will remain the conversation platform of my choice. It provides more flexible privacy, including our company's internal conversation channels, and does better job of geolocation and multilingual microblogging. You'll also find my Qaikus syndicated to Twitter.

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