It’s about the people, stupid

I have found myself using Buzz lately.  Considering my refusal to use other networks as more than address books, this is a bit of a surprise.

Facebook is primarily a way for me to see what old and truly old friends are up to.  It’s nice to see news from old friends but quite a bit of what’s there is just not interesting.  Out of deep paranoia I never post anything or use any applications.

Although Twitter doesn’t inspire the same paranoia as Facebook, I don’t use it much at all.  I have not created a meaningful network there and find reading other people’s tweets to be just like listening to dozens of people talking on their cell phones in a train.  I also think that the arbitrary character limit is an impediment to any meaningful discussion.

I use LinkedIn only for legitimate professional relationships.  I also treat it as a live curriculum vitae.  I don’t visit the site very often.  I never use MySpace or Orkut even though I have accounts.

I have plenty of friends who clearly enjoy being socially active on the networks and there are times when I want to join in.  But I won’t.  I value my privacy.  I see no upsides and plenty of downsides in creating a wide public trail of personal information.

And yet I find myself using Buzz.  Why is that?

The functionality isn’t perfect but it hits a nice sweet spot between Facebook and Twitter.  However, that’s not why I use it.

I use Buzz because of the social network.  The stuff I want to write about and am willing to post publicly just happens to be of interest to the social network I have via gtalk.  Posting the same things on Facebook would literally be like geeking out at a Family party with a techie in-law.  It just so happens that almost all of my contacts in gtalk are technically savvy.  It’s about the people.

Google has built a social networking application that is good enough but more importantly, they happened to do it on top of the network with whom I actually want to socialize.  The real question is whether that’s enough to stop Facebook from turning Google into the next Microsoft prematurely.

One thought on “It’s about the people, stupid

  1. Callie

    “It just so happens that almost all of my contacts in gtalk are technically savvy. It’s about the people.”

    Key word: almost.

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