Google Buzz Gets Blizzardly Demo In Baltimore


google-buzzGoogle Buzz was announced yesterday and I’ve been slightly addicted to it ever since using the Buzz Layer on Google Maps for Android. It’s basically a challenger to your facebook status updates and tweets, including the ability to “follow” people, but in the context of location. Add some features to work with the likes of “Places Directory” and you’ve got a Foursquare/Yelp contender. Add an API for devs to integrate stuff themselves and you’ve got a game changer.

Here is a quick video of me messing with Google Buzz during the blizzard:

Forget the Counting Crows’ Song It’s Raining In Baltimore… it’s freaking BLIZZARDING in Baltimore and it has been for some time. On Friday the snow began and before the weekend was over, 30-inches fell to the ground. A couple days later – Tuesday night – it started again, and so far we’ve gotten another 10-inches with probably 10-more before it ends. And oh yeah… we’re supposed to get more snow on Monday.


Here is the official introduction/advertorial video for Google Buzz:

Yeah… they did a much better job at explaining it all!

I haven’t gotten BUZZ in my GMAIL yet but I’m eagerly anticipating it’s arrival. My only concern with Buzz is that they haven’t integrated enough features early on. This could cause early adapters to get bored and leave, making the experience for new users who test it out less than great. Why not hit us with a fully functional and featured product right from the start?

Perhaps I’m being a bit sensitive – my criticism is more like the over critical nature of a loving parent who wants to see their child succeed. I hate that there are 7 billion different websites and social networking apps and programs and am hoping that Google Buzz will not only help me integrate them easily in one place, but will also add killer features that make it the “it” thing of 2010 and beyond.

Ladies and gentlemen… this could be REALLY cool. But not nearly as cold as the blizzard in Baltimore.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I love the part where you go on your roof top deck and show how deep the snow is in comparison to your legs. I dont think it does it justice though as it is up to your knees and what readers dont know is that your really only 5’2″ hahahahaha.

  2. so how do you link it with facebook?

  3. I live in Abingdon, MD and my power went out today… Using Buzz I was able to communicate with people in the area that I didn’t know about which developments had power and which ones didn’t, as well as keeping each other updated on when power was restored. There couldn’t have been a better time for Buzz to launch so that we could use it in this innovative manner.

    At first I thought I didn’t have Buzz in Gmail yet but I dusted off Internet Explorer and when I loaded Gmail in that Buzz was there. I normally use the developers version of Chrome and Gmail isn’t working very well. I can only access my inbox… No, sent, labels, etc. It just says More where those options normally are and when I click more nothing happens. Not sure if this is because it is the Developer version of Chrome or not? Anyone else having that problem?
    PS. Just checked and I have Buzz on Firefox too. Might have to switch to the stable version of Chrome.

  4. Imagine the potential Buzz provides for prostitutes everywhere!

  5. @jo: You can’t, there is no connectivity to Facebook. The closest I’ve seen is mentioned here:

  6. These Google videos are getting more Appley all the time.


  7. Buzz in Gmail is live for me. It’s a little concerning because I use Gmail for work and some of our clients do as well. You automatically start following your most frequent gmail contacts, so I am worried that clients will not “unfollow” me and I have to be really careful about what I buzz. You can get around this by setting up groups, but that’s a pain. Probably worth it though.

    Even still, I think the Android implementation of Buzz with Layers is really exciting, especially with the ability to attach a picture you take right then and there. I think it would be really cool to be at a concert or some sort of live event and open maps to see what all the people around you are buzzing. Or, to be at a restaurant and pull up Buzz to see if anyone is buzzing about how good the special is. The APIs for developers to add buzz support that you mentioned in your article are already up in Google Code. This won’t kill facebook or twitter, but Gmail’s massive install base is a boon that will keep this service from dying. It also seems to integrate with Google Reader on some level. I think if I “like” something in my RSS feed the people who follow me see that I like it. Really cool stuff.

  8. I am testing it out. Maybe just maybe I will be able to leave FB behind. We shall see. I’m tired of FB and the continual having to check it. Liking it so far.

  9. I am in Baltimore and I have Buzz in my Gmail, it activated today around noon.

  10. So this has some marketing potential… I might Buzz tomorrow that I am willing to shovel driveway’s for $$$ and see if anyone nearby is interested.

  11. i was using this earlier, pretty cool so far, but bein stuck in this blizzard is a pain

  12. I live in Baltimore and damn right it is blizzarding. I dont know how much more snow we can take. We got about 40 in on the ground where I am.

    Google Buzz seems pretty cool though.

  13. Just got the update and i like it so far.

    I live near USC; so I’m having a laugh reading students complain.

  14. LOL ok well lets go to Europe.

  15. Baltimore ftw.

    Snow ftw.

    Buzz ftw.

  16. I didn’t think much of this until I realized I could read what people around me said…

  17. LMAO @Talton’s prostitute comment…I’d say “what a loser” except that it was one of my first thoughts watching this demo…

  18. Omg, we are so wimpy in ohio. We got 6 inches and blowing snow and we are freaking out! Y’all will have to teach us a thing or two! Good luck w/ your real blizzard!
    As for buzz, not sure yet, but I think I see potential….

  19. Great! Another feature not supported by any android phones below the 2.0 update. I just wish google would update everyones phone globally and not pick and choose who gets the newest update. it really kills the user base of a lot of GOOD android phones. If anything, this will kill the android market if these business practices keeps up.

  20. This has some serious potential (like Talton’s comment for example) I wonder if Google will Police this at all?

  21. Samsung Galaxy does not work with GBuzz (other Android from this manufacturer are expected to fail so) … GBuzz says it need Android 2.0+ !

    Yet another reason for Android fan to stay away from manufacturer not releasing update for the OS of their recent phones ;-)

    The question is, does Samsung realy want to follow Android, or do they only fear competition with HTC and Moto ?

    HTC and Moto are releasing very strong hardware, and although on the shelf you might think Samsung has lot of potentiel as a major manufacturer, their handies are not living up to expectations : perfectible hardware (buttons, plastics, microUSB integration)

    IMHO, their own OS will not have the same kind of usage that Android or Mobile OSX has : a versatile electronic “swissarmy knife” ;-) Maybe corean geeks will bring tons of apps for their homeland usage (ey, this is “Samy” man). But I doubt you will ever find a Paris, NewYork or Berlin related tool … simply because you need a techies mass in those countries to get those application developped and deployed on the related market.

    By keeping not following the pace of change, Samsung is deprecating its Android product line. By not offering any perspective of viable&real alternative, the risk is for them to also deprecate all their high end product line.

    The same story is happening to Nokia by the way : cool hardware but software far away from iPhone or Android on nowadays usages :(

  22. I’ve also been using Buzz here in Montgomery County to talk to people about the blizzard. In fact, that’s just about the only buzz going on.

    Looking forward to using Buzz more for other local projects.

  23. I live in virginia, and the snow is scaring the shit outta me. school has been closed for over a week. i cant leave my home!

  24. awesome mobile tutorial. hope the snow calms down.

  25. Sambosis – I’m having the same problem with Chrome and not being able to access my “more”. It drives me nuts that on Google’s own browser, we’re second class citizens. Any suggestions other than switch browsers until they wake up?

  26. I’m getting really frustrated with Google’s strategy for Android. Why the heck this thing is unavailable for earlier versions? Google you’re suck! You turned your back on your own early adopters completely!

  27. Well it’s available on my (1.6) G1 on T-mobile in the UK. Got it through an update to the Google Maps app yesterday.

    Seems pretty cool. The world needs another social networking tool like a hole in the head though. At least it links with twitter :)

  28. @Vald Just download the latest version of Google Maps, it’s supported by any Android build.

    Loving Buzz in Google Maps for Mobile and in Gmail, but the web app still won’t load on my N1. Hopefully they’ll release a native Android app or even better, an option to integrate it into the Gmail app.

  29. Yep.. Google maps updated on 1.6 myTouch in US, to add Buzz.. What is it in 2.0 that I need again ? .. The differences between 1.6 , 2.0 , and 2.1 are not such that the majority of apps won’t work on all of them … Whining for updates that will in the end not mean all the much is your prerogative, but at least know that applications not working is not the issue you think it is.

  30. You need to update to Google Maps 4.0 to get Buzz on Android…

  31. Wow! Another spot on the internet to keep plugging messages, updates pictures and video! How many of these will be enough?

  32. I was skeptical at first with seeing this pop up on my Gmail right when it was released only seeing the features to use with Gmail. Downloaded the updated Maps from the Market and after seeing Rob’s video checked the layers bit out and my eyes were opened. This will be very successful and like some of the other social technologies this will also have SO many people that are ignorant on security and not manage their settings likely buzzing the world about their personal activities.

    For those of us that are a little more keen, go ahead and mark it it your brain to use the private selection on posting if it’s something personal. You can also set it up to post your tweets from Twitter. I immediately changed the settings to only post to those in my contacts. If you have an Android phone you already have at least one group setup on your Google contacts called “My Contacts” that you can use. Likely those that use Google Voice have already setup various groups in their contacts they can utilize.

    I do REALLY like the fact for the posting bit that I can access it within my Gmail instead of having to go to another site. It will be even better in that sense as well when there’s an updated Gmail app or Android app for the mobile integration instead of the mobile buzz site.

  33. @Tom Well mine is fixed now and hopefully yours is too but what I actually was doing(only tested on IE and Firefox) was use the IE tab extension in Chrome. If you are unfamiliar it opens a new tab with its own address bar and it will open whatever page you want using IE’s rendering engine but in the Chrome tab. It was still kind of annoying but at least I only had to have Chrome open. I had to use it before with a site I needed to use for work that would only let me click on links in IE.

    Here is the link and their description:

    Use Internet Explorer to display web pages in a Chrome tab. Some sites can only be displayed using IE, and with this extension you can now see those sites without leaving Chrome. Great for web developers who want to test the IE rendering engine, users who use sites with ActiveX controls, and users who want to use the explorer view for local files (i.e. file:// URLs).

  34. Buzz ftw. I update it as much as I update my facebook. Which is all the time. Using it as a layer in maps is the best!!!

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