Obligatory comment about Google Buzzzzz

I feel obligated to post about Google Buzz, as a social technology evangelist and follower of all things Google. It’s another way to post drive-by messages in random activity streams, conveniently integrated with  Gmail. If you don’t use Gmail, and especially if you’re already feeling deluged, this probably isn’t for you. I don’t think it’s a Facebook killer or Twitter killer – it’s just another example of Google acknowledging and implementing a communication pattern that many people find useful. It’s also another step toward the Google singularity, i.e. the plausible future wherein all the Google collaborative tools-in-development are integrated in a more seamless way. The great Google pie is still in the oven, and we find ourselves dipping our fingers into it – it’s very hot.

That buzzing sound…

Geographers are researching buzz, according to this New York Times article (thanks to the phenomenal Oliver Markley for the pointer). They’re creating a study and an exhibit, both called “The Geography of Buzz,” and in the process finding that buzz is hard to define explicitly. “Rather, like pornography, you know it when you see it.”

As a digital guy, I looked for the tech implications:

… the geo-tagging represents a new wave of information that can be culled from sites like Flickr and Twitter. “We’re going to see more research that’s using these types of finer-grained data sets, what I call data shadows, the traces that we leave behind as we go through the city….They’re going to be important in uncovering what makes cities so dynamic.”

“People talk about the end of place and how everything is really digital. In fact, buzz is created in places, and this data tells us how this happens.”

The geographers have some very cool buzz maps.