If you read any tech news at all today, you read about Google Buzz. ReadWriteWeb, TechCrunch, you name it (CNN), they wrote about it. (Figures CNN’s headline mentions taking on Facebook…right when I start a full court Facebook blitz. Dang.)
Well, the reason I bring it up here isn’t to rehash news that’s already been well hashed. It’s because my theme of discussing society’s move to embrace behavior that I bring it up here.
Google Buzz is all about taking a giant user base (Gmail users) and getting them to constantly stream information, updates, photos, video, etc. This is a tipping point. Facebook and Twitter are huge, and not as many people have Gmail. However, Buzz will happily update Facebook and Twitter for you, and Google has the kind of mainstream pull to be a game changer. Not for Facebook or Twitter. For you.
“This is VSee’s blog,” you might be saying.”What does this have to do with remote collaboration, video streaming, etc.?
1) Google’s mainstream pull, as well as it’s penetration into the workplace as a leading provider of corporate email accounts, creates a breeding ground for new users to be dragged into the social networking fray by their early adopter friends. I won’t swear to this, but I’ll be shocked if corporate Gmail users aren’t among the first converts. Social information, really only immediate for the early adopters and the early majority, is now immediately available to anyone with a Gmail account. No new account needed.
2) When critical mass is reached, the expectation for immediate information combined with the human need to actually interact with another human becomes a perfect pipeline for our industry. As the late majority (for you non-business readers, the later mainstream audience) embraces reading status updates, video status, IM, etc., both personal and business communication should increasingly become more personal and intimate in nature. It will also become a business necessity because…
3) Personalization is the new market. There are so many studies out there describing this that I won’t cite any. (Fine, it’s 10:30 p.m. and I just don’t feel like it.) It’s accepted that, at least in the US, a large part of tech is based off creating products that can be tailored to the individual user’s needs. There are refrigerators with microchips. You can watch TV on them and tell them how hot you want the water from the water dispenser…the flow and filtration of which may also be controlled by microchips. Speaking of TVs, how do you like the color settings on your TV? What software is on your computer? Do you use all the features? If a feature isn’t available, has some developer somewhere made a plugin that creates that feature? I started with a basic physical item (a fridge) and moved to individual functions within software to illustrate the point. Now back out to services such as Facebook and Google, which are immensely customizeable. Now, what is more custom than an actual person presented to you to serve your needs?
4) The last phase of this acceptance comes from competition. As people become more accustomed to dealing remotely with others, the businesses that are able to get customers and clients, vendors and capitalists in face-to-face meetings are going to have an edge. This not only has to do with trust building, but also with gauging reactions during negotiations. During any presentation or negotiation, the teams that are able to mutually see each other are more likely to find accord because they can steer their courses based off visual cues. A three day back-and-forth may be cut down to two hours in an afternoon. Where is the window of opportunity for a competitor to sneak in and derail this process? Well, since business already concluded, there won’t be one.
I’m excited by the Buzz. I’ve got no fewer than three different Gmail accounts for different purposes. And I’m maintaining three different Facebook accounts and two Twitter accounts. Once again, though, and just like in my piece on Hillary’s speech, this news is much more exciting for what it means rather than what it is.