Managing Your Buzz with Buzzzy Search

Love it or hate it, Google Buzz continues to capture attention. And with a huge built-in user base from the get-go, the content production continues to be prolific, even it if has slowed from its initially furious pace. The laundry list of improvements requested by users is quite long, but there is one that can be checked off. Configurable search.

Google Buzz does have its own search function, but it is quite simplistic. Buzzzy (link here) is its own, standalone search engine for Buzz and other services. Located at buzzzy.com, you can access Buzz content using a traditional search box from their site without navigating your Gmail inbox.  Buzzzy pulls results from Twitter and Friendfeed, Google Reader, Flickr and Live Journal and many other sources I didn’t recognize. Results are returned in chronological order or as close to it as the combination of posts and comments will allow. There are filtering options too, which makes it superior to Buzz’s own search function. And you can subscribe to an RSS feed of your search results so you can stay on top of your topic du jour.

Here is a sample search results screen for search terms apple ipad. Note the results filters along the left side:

Check out Buzzzy. You might like it.

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Buzz Your Blog With A Buzz Button

Why be the last one to the party? You too can install your own Google “Buzz This” button on your WordPress self-hosted blog and get a little sharing button at the bottom of each post.  Check mine out at the botton of this post. Essentially, the button is a simple link that ports the article share into Reader, which in turn shares into Buzz. Whatever the process, the button looks pretty cool and you can style yourself bleeding edge since Buzz only just debuted yesterday. Hit the jump (link here) to copy and paste or download and install.

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More On Google Buzz

Announced it yesterday, test-drive it today. I like that kind of instant gratification. I have been playing around with Buzz for the last hour or so. Do you use Gmail? Do you have a Google Profile? Just go to your Gmail inbox and you will see a little “buzz” icon right below your inbox button.

Clicking on it will take you into the Buzz stream composed of people you follow already in Google Reader or have contact with via your Gmail. The very first Buzz pane includes a little welcome to the service:

There is a standard status box at the top to be used for creating a new Buzz pane. But you can also email your post to buzz@gmail.com. You also can use the @ convention from Twitter to send a Buzz directly to a certain person. If you already have created groups in Gmail / GReader, you can send your Buzz to specific groups, via a drop down box in the Buzz pane.

You can connect external sites to Buzz, allowing it to serve as a social aggregator of sorts. When you do so, the experience starts to look a LOT like Friendfeed. You can comment on and “like” Buzzes, just as in GReader. The serial Buzz panes from your follows with likes and comments closely mirror the Friendfeed experience. In fact, Friendfeed is one of the external sites that you can import into Buzz.

As I post this, I am watching the number of new “Buzzes” in the GMail tab grow. In the past minute, over 20 new Buzzes have appeared. This kind of volume is certainly expected on the service’s first day – it will be interesting to see if the number tapers off as the shine dulls.

Once you comment or like a Buzz, subsequent updates will appear in your inbox. There are ways to silence the inevitable onslaught – there is a mute switch for posts that are particularly busy. You can turn Buzz off completely at the bottom of the screen. You always also can set up a filter for Buzz updates that routes them to another folder separate from the inbox.

I haven’t played with the location features yet, but I understand that you can get Buzz information when you point your mobile browser to buzz.google.com. Updates can be tagged with your location and you can see other Buzz posts from nearby.

My early impression is that it is an interesting marriage of email and Friendfeed. Not necessarily a bad thing, although I balk a bit at the mixing of my information sources – I am not completely convinced my email and my social networking should be intermingling in the same venue. They still serve different functions for me. Like Wave, Google may be trying to accomplish too much with a single application. Nonetheless, I am intrigued by the possibilities. If I can get over the learning curve of Buzz, it theoretically could collapse down my list of places I visit on a regular basis.

Oops. Now there are over 50 more unread Buzzes showing in the tab. Gotta go!

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The Buzz About Google Buzz

I have been periodically checking live blogs on Google’s big event today just to get a gander at Google’s new toy, rumored to be a Twitter-Facebook-social media killer of epic proportion. The news so far? Enter Google Buzz.

Google Buzz is incorporated right into your Gmail inbox and can be accessed by a tab. As pulled from Techcrunch’s live blog, the five main features of Google Buzz are:

1) Auto-following. We didn’t want users to have to peck out a totally new social graph. There has always been a giant social network under Gmail. You auto-follow the people you email and chat with the most.

2) Rich, fast sharing experience. Same nice Gmail UI and keyboard shortcuts. Special attention to media.

3) Public and private sharing. We want things Google can index, but also private messages.

4) Inbox integration. The inbox is the center for communication.

5) Just the good stuff. Some much social data, we need to filter the noise.

Buzz incorporates a new photo viewer and a pane that looks a whole lot like Friendfeed. You can view your follows (who have been auto-followed in Buzz by virtue of you having previously communicated with them in Gmail). Posts can be made public or private (very interesting).  Conversations in Buzz can be generated from emails and they fit right within the inbox. It also incorporates the “@” convention from Twitter.  Same keyboard shortcuts that work in Gmail work in Buzz. There is also a recommended “friend of a friend” feature – gee, that sounds an awful lot like Friendfeed too.

Buzz has mobile counterparts too, for Android and iPhone. It’s all about location. When viewing Google.com on your mobile browser, clicking on Buzz will feed you back location data. You can use your voice to input via this mobile format. There is a streaming view of Buzz information and a Buzz-related updates layer for Google Maps with geotagging.

Buzz looks to be another approach to communication and conversation from Google. I will check back in and update when I find out more. In the meantime, check out Techcrunch’s live blog (link here) and watch the next big tech tool roll out of the starting gate.