Thursday, February 11, 2010

Google Buzz

Google have introduced a new instant message service Google Buzz, as part of their Gmail email service. It has a more complicated looking interface than Twitter, and some of the features of Foursquare and Facebook. But what I found most interesting is that it seems to adopt some of the fetures of Google Wave, but with a much less complicated interface. It seems to be very fast, even on my slow wireless link.

You can "follow" other Buzz users, so you see what they post. Your postings can be public or provate. Also you can easily attach a web link to the post. The linking works much better than Twitter or Facebook. In Twitter you paste in a URL and hope it works. Twitter doesn't check the address goes somewhere. In Facebook the system goes and gets a copy of the whole web page and displas a portion, which can take some time it. Buzz falls somewhere in between, replacing the web address with the title of the web page. This goves you the reassurance you have the right page, without clogging up your screen.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Foursquare a trend

SBS TV news has a silly news item each evening just after the sport. A few days ago this was about a trendy new web service called "Foursquare". What was essentially a five minute advertisement for the product, produced by BBC News showed people in the UK using the product. The application connects social networking to locations using smart phones. This allows people top say "I am in the cafe, who else do I know is here, or has been here, what do people think about it". I thought this was all nonsense, but then someone a few days later showed me the same application on their I phone, pointing out it was used at the Purple Pickle and last weekend's Bar Camp Canberra. This turns it from a dubious news beat up into a "trend".

I don't have a compatible smart phone, but signed up using the standard web interface. To my surprise I found that several local locations were already registered on the system, including the Purple Pickle and Bar Camp Canberra (although technically that is not a physical location). I added the ANU Computer Science and Information Technology building and the famous Room N101.