Friday, February 26, 2010

Why Google Buzz Will Win

If you recall, when Google launched Wave, it was by invitation only and was completely separate from Gmail. The result is that the interest fizzled out because a majority of users could not use it. Personally, I love Wave; but, there's nobody on the other end to make it useful. By integrating Buzz into their most popular product, Google introduced everybody to its awesomeness to get them hooked.

Secondly, other services launch a finished product, get complaints from users, and then re-engineer the product. Google purposely launched an incomplete service to allow us to help them improve it, thus avoiding the re-engineering part. Things will only get better from here on because they are engineering-as-you-go.

Another reason why Google Buzz will win is because they are doing everything with open source. Whatever mojo FriendFeed did, they didn't share it before being acquired by Facebook. Now FriendFeed has not evolved, nor will it. Facebook is not about to open source, allowing their captive audience to leave the walled garden.

Finally, Google's ultimate goal is not to make you a Google Buzz user. Their goal is to make Google Buzz the glue that holds your web presence together. They will be a nexus of your web presence. They will federate comments using the Salmon protocol; this means that if somebody comments on your Buzz, the Salmon-enabled blog will also have a copy of their comment on your blog.

You must remember that Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. You have to view Google Buzz through that lens. Otherwise, you fall into the thinking that Google is doing a "me too". Google is not trying to catch up; Google is heading the competition off at the pass.

The proof of this is that they launched a stream, a mobile site with geolocation, and automatic integration with other products at the same time. In effect, they launched Twitter, FriendFeed, Brightkite, and Wave all at once; and, they're just getting started.

Unless the other services start sharing their toys, Google will win.

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