What’s that buzzing sound?
Google’s latest social media experiment recently came to life in the form of Google Buzz: a social media-sharing service built into your Gmail window. Buzz will let you share photos, links, videos and status updates through your Gmail inbox or your mobile device’s web browser.
Remember: Google isn’t really a search engine or a chat tool or an email provider. It’s an online advertisement-pushing juggernaut. And, assuming Buzz takes off, in just a few iterations of its development, this is the sort of Buzz-powered day you could be having:
7 a.m. Smartphone alarm wakes you. You quickly scan it for emails, texts and Buzz. Since Google knows you were at the bar last night, it offers you an ad for a hangover cure.
7:30 a.m. Commuting to work. Browsing your tablet PC on the train, among the emails, light web-browsing, and casual Buzz-chatting, Google serves you an ad for a new coffee shop that’s opened on your route from the station to the office. It also knows you’re late, and a Buzz-linked local taxi company Buzzes you to check if you’d like a ride from the station so you can make that 8:15 meeting that’s scheduled in your Gmail calendar.
10:30 a.m. Collaborative work-base Buzz chat on your current project. Buzz knows you’re working, so tones down the frequency and pixel-size of its embedded ads, and stops actively Buzzing you, but pops up adverts that match the theme of your work. Along with placements for MBAs from local colleges, since it knows your education history. Plus sneaky job ads that might interest you, based on your demonstrated areas of expertise.
12:15 p.m. Lunch. The local Buzz-linked McDonald’s Buzzes you and asks, ‘Are you hungry for a Big Mac? You liked it last week. Or maybe you’re in the mood for our lunchtime hangover cure special: A baconburger?’ A local gymnasium ad pops up next, with a special sign-up deal for new members valid for an hour, and a note that two of your work colleagues go there already – one of whom you’re friends with and the other of whom is more senior, as Buzz is careful to remind you.
6:00 p.m. Hometime. Idly checking your smartphone to see what your pals are up to, Buzz knows that three of you are heading roughly the same way inside the next half hour. A local bar Buzzes all of you to suggest a post-work beer.
And so on . . .