I think I have figured out where/what Buzz will find itself most useful – In Google Hosted Mail/Apps. Why? Well instead of sending around office spam using email, office denizens can “buzz” about it and keep their inboxes clean – just don’t look at your “all mail” or “sent mail” folders/labels. The same would hold true for a school. Students could buzz about personal things and keep the inbox for “formal” communication. I know this thought is late to the party, but it seemed so obvious when Buzz came out that I didn’t post it, why? I thought others would have (and they may have), but since I haven’t seen it, better late than never.
Posts tagged: Location Aware
Well it seems that after a month of doing nothing on foursquare, I’m still the mayor of 10 places in the city, having only lost one mayor ship – that of Canadian Tire on Gateway – and that only in the last week. So what does this tell me? Well it might be that I’m the only one with a life as boring of mine, so I’ve got no competition in my league. It could also mean that without any way to truly engage users, games like foursquare are much like solitaire. You can be the best player ever… but it really doesn’t mean anything to anyone, other than yourself.
Granted, if there are external rewards – some places are offering discounts to mayors or current check ins, other places have other rewards – then this game can actually pick up. But without it, it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense and it certainly seems to annoy non players. So in thinking about using this game for some manner of Faculty activity, I now know that unless there is something substantial planned around using foursquare or other check in games, they are going to sputter and leave a bad taste all around.
It seems that Alan and I are not alone in being unimpressed. John Battelle feels like he’s in a similar boat. (bolding is mine)
Not “being in the demo” also means I’m not looking to hook up – either with a roving band of urban nomad pals, or … well, anyone else, for that matter. For me, the biggest “hook up” that’s happened due to Foursquare so far is when my industry pal Josh Felser introduced me to a fellow who had just captured what had once been my mayorship of the Bay Club Marin. It was fun to meet the guy, and yes, Byron C., I’m coming for you…but honestly, after three months, I expected a bit more…human contact. Compared to three months of using Facebook or Twitter, Foursquare just ain’t doing it in the “connect me to other interesting humans” category.
Now, let’s get past the caveats. I’ve got a number of things I wish the service would do, but doesn’t (or if it does, I’m not aware of it, and that’s an issue as well). Also, I’ve got a number of gripes, perhaps, again, that might be resolved by my own education, but my thesis is if a web service isn’t either initially self explanatory (IE, Amazon), or confusing but fascinating (Twitter) it’s not worth spending time on.
So far, Foursquare has not unfolded in any particularly interesting way beyond checking in. That, to me, is both a problem and an opportunity. Now that I’m in the habit of telling my “friends” where I am – what else? To me, that’s a critical problem with the service, one worthy of digging into.
This is a long way of saying that the service is, to my mind, poorly instrumented from the point of view of social relationships.
Well, I’ve got to try Buzz and I have to say that I’m underwhelmed. The system works well for sucking in content (sometimes quite delayed), it allows for content to be reposted to one’s Google Profile, but not back out the the original site. The interface itself is like Friend Feed, but lacking the links back to the longer stories/posts Friend Feed used as a paradigm to allow for posting to other services. Buzz isn’t aware of content in the Gmail system, so you can’t share pictures/videos/links into your buzz network from your email and finally, the interface to get back to the setup for connected sites tends to hide.
The bonus? Well because it links into Reader, it gives people a reason to get back into Google reader and start to star and share things from there again.