Posts tagged software
So if you have a Gmail account you probably noticed last week that Google added a new feature: Buzz. It’s basically Google’s version of Facebook’s version of Twitter. It’s nothing new or exciting, just a new implementation of someone else’s idea.
The really new and exciting part of Google Buzz actually happened this morning, one week after Buzz was launched: My friend Jason started following me on it.
Jason’s like a barometer for how successful technology is, mostly because he’s so resistant to it. His work had to give him a pager to get a hold of him because he didn’t yet have a cell phone when he graduated from college and got a job. That’s why when he eventually got a blog, joined Facebook, and even bought an iPhone, we knew those things were hits.
So, really, I don’t know if Jason is going to actually use Buzz because it gets set up automatically by your Gmail account and you automatically start following your Gmail contacts. But of course, I think that’s exactly why it’s going to work. Jason and other people like him that would probably never bother with fads like Twitter will use Buzz because it’s built in to something that they’re already using.
When Google came out with Google Talk I wrote a short-sighted post about how it was such a bad idea because everyone was already well established with their favorite chat programs. I thought a new chat program wouldn’t succeed because there would be no reason for anyone to switch away from the chat service where all of their friends are in favor of a new one with no users and (at the time) no better features. Time has proven me wrong. What I didn’t foresee was that Google would add it to Gmail and overnight make it so that I had more friends on Google Talk than I had on any other chat service. Now it’s the chat service that I prefer.
I think it’ll be the same for Google Buzz. Buzz isn’t anything really new, but it will work anyway. It will work because everyone will use it. Everyone will use it because they already use Gmail.
Kelly and I just drove past FYE and they’re running a sale where all CD’s are $9.99.
“About time,” I say, pointing the sign out to Kelly. “They’re finally as cheap as iTunes.”
Kelly sees the sign and says, “$9.99?! We should go in there.”
“Why? It’s the same price as iTunes.”
“Yeah,” reveals my brilliant and beautiful wife, “but at least you own a CD, instead of iTunes just letting you borrow it.”
Dramatic? Perhaps. But think about what it really means for you to “buy” a song from iTunes.
When you buy a song on iTunes you can play it in iTunes or on your iPod. You can’t play it on your Zune or Xbox or Nomad. You can’t play it on your phone unless it’s an iPhone. You can’t play it in WinAmp or Windows Media Player or any program on Linux. Basically you can only use it where and how Apple Computer, Inc. says that you can use it. You can use it only on their devices and software.
It isn’t your song. It’s their song. You didn’t buy it from them at all. You just rented it. If you’re really nice and do what you’re told they might let you use it sometime.
Google Talk is all the rage among my computer nerd friends. If you haven’t heard the hype yet (it probably hasn’t spread away from the nerds yet), allow me to enlighten you.
Google Talk is a very simple (watered-down) chat client, similar to the Instant Messengers from AOL, Yahoo, and MSN. It pretty much has only two features: a regular text messaging, and a voice chat (both features that the other clients have had for a long time). It doesn’t even send files.
You might ask, Why do the computer nerds (who should know better) like it, if it’s such a piece of junk? Well, I’ll tell you. You see, the hard-core computer nerds have a very strong bias against Microsoft, and hate everything that they make, even if it’s better than the alternatives. In a similar fashion, they love everything with the brand name “Google”, without regard to whether it’s good or not. Google is just a corporate entity like any other (including Microsoft).
The reason I post this to the non-nerd world is simply that I fear that other people will be blinded by the Google name and fail to see that this particular program is a folly. I think it was silly of Google to make a chat client in the first place. What’s the point of switching to a brand new chat program that no one even has yet? Even if the feature set were better than other IM’s (which it isn’t), don’t you choose your chat based on which one your friends are on?
Ok, I just got this thing to see how Blogger works and if I could steal some of its ideas for my own website(s), but I kinda like it, so maybe I’ll hang onto it.