So I came across this thing called Google Buzz when I was checking my twitter feed today. Todd Crawford from Impact Radius tweeted it today. It is basically an email plug in for Gmail users to add social media aspects into your email inbox. Google Buzz makes it not only easier to share photos, send messages and get responses and find them in almost real time, but it also allows you to connect to friends through it and kind of acts like a complete facebook app.
Now, this sounds like regular email, but when you can get groups responding and commenting in the same column on a photo or topic, it really adds a completely new dimension to email and Gmail. Leave it to Google to have a crack dream with a crack team and take their email to the next level. I love this feature and the new Google Buzz features for gmail, but I am also a bit concerned about actually using it.
I email confidential things from Clients and to Clients on a regular basis. Sometimes I have to email Affiliates as well and usually it is custom written articles or other information I don’t want to share with other people, pictures I shoot custom for their sites or sensitive financial information. I am also a fairly clumsy person and for me this could be a seriously harmful to my business.
If it is really that simple to send images and include multiple people in your messaging, then from what I can see, it is a sure fire way for me to cross messages and send the wrong message to the wrong person or even worse, send it to a group of people that shouldn’t have known.
One example is my friends surprise birthday party. I’m not mentioning who or when so that way it can remain anonymous.
A bunch of us have been joking and sharing some embarrassing pictures of my friend so we can not only have a fun surprise party for this person, but we can also embarrass this person a bit. This person does know we have the photos, this person doesn’t know we are photo shopping them and blowing them up poster size for the restaurant. Anyways, I can easily see that if my friends and I were all using Google Buzz and we had a glass of wine or two we could easily slip up and let the surprise out and our friend would find out what we have been planning for this person’s birthday.
Another situation I could see something bad happening is with holidays like Valentine’s Day or Anniversaries where couples or Partners sometimes take some fairly revealing photos of themselves for their lovers. Imagine if you have it on your computer and because this app makes it easy to accidentally share photos or send to large groups without any effort, you could accidentally send your photos to co-workers, family, etc… With regular email you at least have to select images, upload and click on them to upload them making you have to actually work to upload an image for a file. This gives you some protection and also helps you prevent embarrassing images or private documents and information from being sent. Without these extra steps and without the really quick and easy sharing, I think a lot of people could get themselves into trouble.
Now with the fears out of the way, Google Buzz does address something that the Online Marketing community has always had issues with. Sending Video in your emails.
I have worked with Video Advertising and Infomercial Clients for a while now and one thing that we were never able to do successfully was send video within email and get solid delivery.
The file sizes were huge, video hits spam filters like no tomorrow, I forget what happened when we streamed it in with Flash and Java scripts didn’t work either. We did do things like send the opening screen with a button that said click to play to take the user to the video or say click here to see the video, but Google Buzz actually addresses this issue and offers you a way to share video directly in and through your email. No more sending a link for youtube.com if you are using Google Buzz and Gmail. The only issue right now is that I think the other people have to also be using Google Buzz and may also have to be using Gmail. If this is the case than you will have some serious issues in the short run but if for some reason it catches on or Google uses its team to find a way to combine Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and other major providers, this could completely change the way email is delivered for Video Advertisers, Affiliates, Infomercial Companies, Hotels who want to show off their properties, Shows that want to show off their talent, etc… I think this could go over extremely well, especially because if it hits the main stream consumer or internet user, they will think it is soo cool to watch and send video from their email without having to go to Vimeo, YouTube or other sites that your ads, etc… can be even easier to distribute and your viral video campaigns can take off even faster.
I like the idea behind Google Buzz and I will probably sign up for the beta test, but I don’t think I will actually use it until I have all the kinks and bugs worked out. It does look pretty cool and there is a great video describing Google Buzz on their sign up page. I encourage you all to check it out.