Google Buzz: A Deft Analysis from Digg’s Kevin Rose

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 12, 2010 in Tech |

google-buzz-iconKevin Rose is famous for Digg, which has lost a bit of steam to Google when it comes to breaking news. However any illusions one might have had that Rose was on a siesta can’t be dispelled when you watch his take on why Google integrated Buzz into Gmail. To sum up Rose has the following interesting insights:

• Gmail is the main product for Google so they see this as a core part of their business.

• You can tell this because they’ve been carving a huge part of each search page for Twitter.

• The catch: Twitter isn’t for sale, but all of this info is pouring into it.

• By controlling the real time web also means that you control search = bad news for Google.

• So Google must destroy Twitter or the core of their business will die.

To this I’ll add my own observation: I think what Google is doing is also aimed at the heart of Microsoft Outlook. As much as I hate the idea of kitbashing email with tweets, the reality is that it puts Gmail a step ahead of Outlook. Also as Rose points out this is a new way of creating documents which goes to killing off Microsoft Office.

Of course the one thing that I hate about Google Buzz as a designer at heart is that it makes Gmail quite messy to use: This is alright for techies, but it would make me think twice about setting up grandma with an account. The strength of Twitter, Outlook and yes even Digg is their ease of use for everyday users. Also frankly I don’t buy into the “Google Does No Evil Camp” — they’re already a monopoly and if they control real time they’ll become even worse.

To me it will be interesting to see how Rose takes these lessons and applies them to the pending relaunch of Digg. I’m an old time Digg fanboy and was heartbroken when they eliminated shouts which for me killed the social media aspect of the website. I’ve heard rumors that he’ll push for more categories, however also being a Reddit user one can see how this can lead to chaos and water down Digg.

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