Google Buzz is a better Bulletin Board System (Really)

Google Buzz is a better Bulletin Board. For the children of the 1980s, that’s not a negative connotation. When I first heard the squawky dial-up modem (1200 baud) to a far-away server and saw the monochrome ASCII listings for files and information there on that computer, I glimpsed another world.

Google Buzz gives you the power of the BBS, which was essentially the ability to talk about anything you wanted in both real time and asynchronously. Yes, I know that there are lots of bulletin boards out there and that many people have gotten this right. However, none of these bulletin board services are embedded in GMail, which boasts 37m unique monthly users (and many more casual users).

This will be the bulletin board your Mom thinks about using. Will it revolutionize social networking? It’s still too soon to tell. Google’s UI takes a bit of getting used to, and the traditional flash/bling/AJAX we’ve associated with Twitter, Facebook, and the rest is not yet on display.

Yet Google Buzz is revolutionary because it attempts to take the information river that is Twitter (and probably soon, Facebook — if they can work out an information sharing deal — and others) and flattens it out into the familiar Gmail interface.

Right for everybody? Not yet. But the mobile interface might be better than the Gmail interface for Buzz. Figure out how to expand/contract the threads, make it a bit more usable and Google has a winner on its hands. I’m using it today.

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