New Tricks: Set up a Google Buzz profile for your news organization

February 11th, 2010

The buzz on the Internet this past week has been the unveiling of Google Buzz, the search giant’s serious bid to become a player in social media. Whether it can pry people away from Twitter and/or Facebook, which it will have to do to be successful, remains to be seen.

Either way, if Buzz turns into a powerhouse — or not — now is the time to establish your presence.

Not sure what Buzz is? It’s a hybrid between Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. Check out this demo video from Google:

Here’s what you should do:

  • If you don’t have a Gmail account, get one. It’s free, and you need one to use Google Buzz.
  • Fill out a Google Profile, if you haven’t done so already. Fill it out completely as possible, and include a picture of yourself. Be sure to use the URL section to link to your blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts. When you want to tell people via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail that you’re on Buzz, you can give them the URL to your profile.
  • Go to your Gmail account and click “Buzz” on the left-hand side of the page.
  • Connect your Twitter account, Flickr account or more by clicking on the “connected sites” link in the middle of the page. Anything you connect to it will feed into Buzz (not vice-versa).
  • Find people to follow using the “find people” link. Google suggests people (even auto-follows some) based on your conversations you’ve had in the past via gmail or Google chats. Once you follow a well-connected friend, you can find more people to follow by on the list of his or her followers.

Anything you post on Buzz can be commented on, “liked” and e-mailed around, assuming you posted as a public message (there’s an option when you post).

If you are in a position to do so, you should establish a Buzz account for your media organization. I made a Buzz account for the Statesman by creating a new Gmail account for it. Please feel free to follow it.

- Robert Quigley


Please post any thoughts you have on news organizations using Google Buzz as comments on this blog post!

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Entry Filed under: Google Buzz,New Tricks

  • Tara

    Anyone using Gmail's Buzz with their personal email might want to read this blog post looking at possible (and possibly serious) privacy concerns:

    Using Buzz can inadvertently allow anyone to see who you frequently email, depending on who Google auto-adds. This is A LOT different than those you officially acknowledge as a “friend” or “follower” on Facebook and Twitter. There might be people you send emails or from whom you receive emails that you don't want publicly viewable.

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  • Robert Quigley

    Tara – thanks.
    Be aware that Google is addressing those concerns:….

    My advice on all social networks is to be aware of how the privacy settings work.

  • Tara

    They’re not addressing them fast enough or well enough. Good example: need to introduce an opt-out option IMMEDIATELY. Not a false “turn off” which simply hides it from the user.rnrn”on all social network… be aware of how the privacy settings work.” But I never signed up for a Google social network! I signed up 5 years ago to use their email and this week they thrust me into a social network where they preselected people to follow me (and for me to follow) based on my PRIVATE contacts (as well as, by extension, the private information about how frequently I contact people.) I am very conscious of my settings on Facebook and Twitter, and I maintain a professional and somewhat distanced persona on those sites compared to what I reveal to people in my email – people whom I might not even want others to know I contact.rnrnWhat Google has done – and continues to do by not allowing an opt-out – is completely inexcusable. As one of my friends put it, they are crossing from “don’t be evil” to “evil genius.”

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  • paulbalcerak

    Buzz for a news org—nice, but I feel like if I tacked that on top of my personal Google account, my brain would basically implode. Any ideas on managing multiple accounts?

  • Robert Quigley

    I'm hoping someone tells *me* a good way to manage all these accounts. I had Buzz linked to the @Statesman Twitter account but have since unhooked it. It does not seem to be a good use of Buzz to have Tweets flow in there (besides, the lag between Twitter and Buzz is horrible). For now, I recommend just buzzing one or two interesting things a day. The good thing about having Buzz hooked to your e-mail is you see when someone comments on your post so you can go in and reply. If Buzz catches on big time, you can devote more resources to it. For now, I just recommend dabbling in it and experimenting a bit.

  • paulbalcerak

    I'll definitely mess around with it. Following your Statesman account now, too, just to get a better idea of what you're doing with it.


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