Links for October 30th 2011:

  • Cashing In on Your Hit YouTube Video [NYTimes.com] – In the unlikely but not impossible event of a YouTube video going unexpectedly viral, here’s a quick guide from the New York Times on how to act quickly and make the most of your possible revenue and exposure.
  • When I died on Wikipedia | David McKie [The Guardian] – Amusing and insightful column from David McKie who Wikipedia incorrectly claimed, was dead. McKie points out that the Wikipedia is far from the first media service to prematurely announce people’s demise: “It was disconcerting to learn recently from a much used reference source that I had died on Friday August the 26th. True, one’s memory gets more fitful as one grows older, but I didn’t remember this happening. When I looked that day up in my diary, I found that I had noted it down as “a very empty day” when it rained and nothing much happened. Empty, perhaps, but not as empty as that. Still, there it was, in all its bleak finality, in a summary on Wikipedia: “David McKie (1935 – 26 August 2011) was a British journalist and historian.” […] Wikipedia, I see, welcomes corrections. Indeed, its section on premature obituaries accepts it is incomplete and appeals for more, well-sourced, entries. So now I shall write to correct their error …”
  • Untangling the web: how the internet has changed the way we treat death [Technology | The Observer] – Good overview by Aleks Krotoski looking at death in a networked, digital world: “Death in the age of the web reminds us how much the technology has become part of the fabric of our personal and social identities. Once we’re gone, what we leave behind is a rich resource of who we are. We may not survive beyond the release of the next social network, but our inevitable ends are being extended by our digital lives.”
  • @AlanJoyce abused on Twitter, but he’s not the Qantas boss [Perth Now] – “An American science student who shares his name with the CEO of Qantas has found himself the target of a deluge of abuse on Twitter. The unfortunate American, whose name is Alan Joyce and who holds the name @alanjoyce on Twitter, is currently studying computer science at Stanford University, as well as having written two guidebooks to the Disneyland Resort in California. To clarify his identity the American replied to one accusation: “I’m glad to see someone appreciating my impeccable American accent, but I’m guessing you’re looking for a different Alan Joyce.” […] The American Alan Joyce first responded to the attacks after @DognutsTom tweeted, “Well I’m stuck at home with broken wheelchair thanks to QANTAS! You think @alanjoyce CEO of QANTAS could work it out right?” Alan replied, “Sorry about your wheelchair, but I’m no more CEO of Qantas than @willsmith is a famous movie actor.””
  • Q&A;: Felicia Day, from ‘The Guild’ to ‘Dragon Age’ [latimes.com] – “Playing” Felicia Day: “And when Electric Arts [makers of Dragon Age] called, that was the first call in years that was really like, “Oh!” They asked, “What would you like to do?” and I said, “What properties do you have?” And when Dragon Age came up I was, like, “Yes!” Because when am I ever going to be able to be in a medieval world as an actor? Probably never. So I’ll help create it myself. This will be the first time that a video game property is a Web series; and the elf is an actual playable character. So my character will be a DLC [downloadable content] piece; if people own Dragon Age II, they’ll be able to purchase an extension pack and play with my character. It’s full motion capture with me, full facial capture, full vocal acting. It’s pretty much the coolest thing I could ever imagine: Not only am I in a game, but it’s as a character I created.”

Links for October 5th 2011 through October 17th 2011 (catching up on a backlog of good links!):

  • New YouTube features for music artists [YouTube Blog] – YouTube gets even further on the disintermediation bandwagon (ie cutting out the middle people), letting bands and music partners offer merchandising, concert tickets and link to digital sales (including iTunes) from their music videos. It’s all about the integration!
  • Amazon Rewrites the Rules of Book Publishing [NYTimes.com] – “Amazon.com has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers. Amazon will publish 122 books this fall in an array of genres, in both physical and e-book form. It is a striking acceleration of the retailer’s fledging publishing program that will place Amazon squarely in competition with the New York houses that are also its most prominent suppliers. It has set up a flagship line run by a publishing veteran, Laurence Kirshbaum, to bring out brand-name fiction and nonfiction. It signed its first deal with the self-help author Tim Ferriss. Last week it announced a memoir by the actress and director Penny Marshall, for which it paid $800,000, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said. Publishers say Amazon is aggressively wooing some of their top authors. And the company is gnawing away at the services that publishers, critics and agents used to provide.”
  • Buyers dodge court’s Samsung tablet ban [The Age] – Surprising no one: “Australians are making a mockery of a Federal Court injunction banning the sale of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets in Australia by ordering them from online stores. Meanwhile, in the US, Samsung’s own lawyers were left red-faced after being unable to differentiate between Samsung’s and Apple’s tablets in court. Samsung has been forbidden by Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett from selling or marketing the device in Australia until a full hearing in its patent infringement case with Apple, which isn’t expected to take place until next year. Justice Bennett said Apple had a prima facie case that Samsung infringed two of its patents. But online sellers on eBay, and web stores such as MobiCity.com.au, Expansys, Techrific and dMavo, are bypassing Samsung Australia and obtaining stock from other countries, such as Hong Kong.”
  • Google Announces Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results (GooglePlus = 40 million+) [Google Investor Relations] – In their third quarter financial resuts, Larry Page announces that Goole+ has passed 40 million users.
  • Lady Gaga bans Lady Goo Goo song [BBC News] – Given Lady Gaga’s rhetoric about respecting her fans ignoring (her) copyright and that this effort seems like parody to me, I’ll be interested to see how this is justified: “Lady Gaga has won an injunction at London’s High Court to stop animated character Lady Goo Goo from releasing a single, its makers have said. Lady Goo Goo, a baby with a long blonde fringe from the Moshi Monsters online game – owned by UK firm Mind Candy – released The Moshi Dance on YouTube. But Lady Gaga’s injunction has stopped its full release, Mind Candy said. Law firm Mishcon de Reya confirmed it had represented Lady Gaga but said it could not comment further.”
  • A fall sweep [Official Google Blog] – Google is killing off a number of poorly performing products. Google Buzz is the most notable closure. Hopefully Google learnt a lot from Buzz, especially about privacy.
  • Felicia Day turns to Hangouts to promote new show [NewTeeVee – Online Video News] – “Web series veteran Felicia Day will promote her new online show Dragon Age: Redemption with a unique twist on Google+ Hangouts: The actress will be experimenting with something she dubbed Hangout Housecalls this coming Tuesday. Day is promising to visit as many Hangouts of her fans within a three-hour window as possible. She announced the house calls on Google+, where she explained: I’ll answer questions about the show and we can even pose for a photo that you can screencap and post later! Cool? Cool. The Dragon Age: Redemption house calls will kick off with a post on Day’s Google+ profile on Tuesday at 10 a.m. PST that will ask viewers to post links to their Hangouts in the comments. Day will then click through those links, visiting one Hangout after another.”
  • The Guild turns product placement into merchandising gold [NewTeeVee – Online Video News] – Good wrap-up of the many, many different types of merchandise now available surrounding Felicia Day’s web series The Guild. Also interesting are both the careful deals – finding merchandise options which don’t threaten existing sponsorship from Microsoft and Sprint – but also how a lot of merchandise was strategically linked to Comic Conventions so that, eventually, they could be integrated into Season Five of The Guild which is largely set at a con. Day really is a canny business person and shows how far a recognisable web series can the deployed to make money across a wide range of products and tie-ins.
  • 200 million Creative Commons photos and counting! [Flickr Blog] – Flickr users have now explicitly licensed and shared over 200 million photos using Creative Commons licenses. This is a fantastic and valuable resource. However, given there are more than 5 billion photos on Flickr, surely there could be more under CC licenses if the world was really spread? After all, being able to specify your license is one of the key things that Facebook really can’t do right now/
  • Barcode Scanner for Zotero [Android App] – Android barcode scanning app for Zotero. If the barcode links to a book metadata, you can automatically add it to your Zotero library. “Scanner For Zotero brings Zotero’s magic wand tool out into the physical world. Scan the ISBN barcode on any book, and Scanner For Zotero will fetch that item’s bibliographic info from the web and allow you to add it to your Zotero library.That’s pretty cool.”
  • Facebook’s privacy lie: Aussie exposes ‘tracking’ as new patent uncovered [The Age] – “Facebook has been caught telling porkies by an Australian technologist whose revelations that the site tracks its 800 million users even when they are logged out have embroiled Facebook in a global public policy – and legal – nightmare. Facebook’s assurances that “we have no interest in tracking people” have been laid bare by a new Facebook patent, dated this month, that describes a method “for tracking information about the activities of users of a social networking system while on another domain”.”

Links through April 5th 2010:

  • Google Buzz Privacy Reset Coming Tomorrow [Mashable] – “In an effort to address mounting criticism of the privacy issues surrounding Google Buzz, the search giant is going to ask all Buzz users to confirm or change their privacy settings. In an announcement that will be coming soon, Google will admit that they “didn’t get everything right,” which has resulted in serious privacy tweaks since its launch. However, many users weren’t affected by these changes because they had activated Google Buzz before the privacy updates. Now in a renewed effort to correct its gaffs, the search company is going to ask all Google Buzz users to confirm (or change) their Buzz settings. This will be gradually rolled out tomorrow, but the result will be that every user will be prompted with a confirmation page the next time they click the Buzz tab. […] The page isn’t anything new — it’s really just the Google Buzz settings page. However, Google’s taking a step in the right direction by giving every user a big opportunity to change their privacy settings.”
  • When office affairs take over the bedroom, the lounge … [The Age] – “Many workers are caught in an insidious technology trap of being permanently online. Some people are checking emails around the clock – to the detriment of their private lives – and never feel they have left the virtual office, research suggests. Melissa Gregg, of Sydney University’s department of gender and cultural studies, conducted interviews with 26 employees in information industries who did at least some work from home. “This study was designed to pick up all that extra work that goes on outside the office, which is generally sold to us as this new freedom to be in touch with work when it suits us,” Ms Gregg said. The participants believed checking and sending emails from home did not constitute work. Yet emails were constantly invading evenings and weekends, potentially affecting family relationships. The study showed that workers were checking email at night in bed and as early as 6am before children woke so they could focus on “real work” in office hours.”
  • Chatroulette Piano Improv’s Merton on YouTube Takedowns, Ben Folds and What’s Under That Hoodie [NewTeeVee] – A new interview with ‘Merton’, the guy behind the Chatroulette PianoChatImprov videos. I found it particularly interesting how people gave (or refused) permission to be recorded: “NewTeeVee: How do you now go about the process of getting people’s permission to use them for videos?
    Merton: What I do is as soon as they come on the screen, I very quickly paste a little message into the text area that says “I may be recording this. If I have your permission to possibly post this video online, please say yes and give me a thumbs up.” We consulted an attorney about how to word it. And if people say no, I assure them that I’m not going to put them on YouTube and we then both relax and I still play music for them. That’s some of the purest interactions I have because we’re both off stage all of a sudden and we just relax and have a really nice time with it.”
  • Results From Dungeons & Dragons Online Going Free: Revenue Up 500% [Techdirt] – A freemium success: “Last year, we wrote about the decision by Turbine to turn its formerly fee-based Dungeons & Dragons Online MMO into a free offering, that had reasons to buy built into the game. At the time, we noted that the early results looked good, but over time they’re looking even better. Reader Murdock alerts us to the news that DDO was able to get 1 million more users and boost revenue 500%… all by going free.”
  • Government goes to war with Google over net censorship [The Age] – “The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has launched a stinging attack on Google and its credibility in response to the search giant’s campaign against the government’s internet filtering policy. In an interview on ABC Radio last night, Senator Conroy also said he was unaware of complaints the Obama administration said it had raised with the government over the policy. The government intends to introduce legislation within weeks forcing all ISPs to block a blacklist of “refused classification” websites for all Australians. Senator Conroy has said the blacklist will largely include deplorable content such as child pornography, bestiality material and instructions on crime, but a large and growing group of academics, technology companies and lobby groups say the scope of the filters is too broad and will not make a meaningful impact on internet safety for children.”

Links for February 17th 2010 through February 19th 2010:

  • PleaseRobMe website reveals dangers of social networks [BBC News] – “A website called PleaseRobMe claims to reveal the location of empty homes based on what people post online. The Dutch developers told BBC News the site was designed to prove a point about the dangers of sharing precise location information on the internet. The site scrutinises players of online game Foursquare, which is based on a person’s location in the real world. PleaseRobMe extracts information from players who have chosen to post their whereabouts automatically onto Twitter. […] “It’s basically a Twitter search – nothing new,” said Mr Van Amstel. “Anyone who can do HTML and javascript can do this. You could almost laugh at how easy it is.” He said that the site would remain live but stressed it was not created to encourage crime. “The website is not a tool for burglary,” he said. “The point we’re getting at is that not long ago it was questionable to share your full name on the internet. We’ve gone past that point by 1000 miles.””
  • Westpac Writes ‘Oh So Very Over It’ On Twitter Account [Brisbane Times] – Apparently people tweeting for corporate brands showing emotion is newsworthy: “Who said banks were heartless? Even after posting a $1.6 billion first quarter profit, Westpac was a melancholy bank shortly before 4pm today. “Oh so very over it today,” Westpac announced to the world via its Twitter account. The sullen tweet spread like wildfire and tugged at heart strings across the social networking site. […] Concerned about the bank’s well-being, brisbanetimes.com.au contacted Westpac’s media relations department to make sure it was OK. Within two minutes of making that phone call at 4.26pm, the Tweet was pulled from the site, but not before thousands saw it. brisbanetimes.com.au hopes to be able to report on Westpac’s emotional state, as soon as a response to our queries is received.”
  • Google Buzz ‘breaks privacy laws’ says watchdog [BBC News] – “A leading privacy group has urged US regulators to investigate Google’s new social networking service Buzz, one week after its launch. The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (Epic) has made its complaint to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) It says that Buzz – which is part of Google’s Gmail service – is “deceptive” and breaks consumer protection law. The search giant has twice made changes to the service to placate an outcry from users about privacy concerns. Canadian officials are also looking at whether Buzz violates privacy laws. “Google still hasn’t gone far enough,” Epic’s consumer privacy counsel Kim Nguyen told BBC News.”Twitter is a social networking site and people know what they are signing up for. With Gmail, users signed up for an e-mail service not a social networking service,” said Ms Nguyen. “Despite all the changes, they still do not give users a meaningful way to opt into it.” Buzz was automatically rolled out to Gmail’s 176 million users.”
  • Google boss says ‘nobody was harmed’ by Buzz debacle [guardian.co.uk] – Isn’t it a bit late to chide user “confusion” and just move forward with “we’re sorry”? “Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has suggested that users who complained about privacy invasions by Google Buzz were subject to “confusion”. “I would say that we did not understand how to communicate Google Buzz and its privacy,” he said. “There was a lot of confusion when it came out on Tuesday, and people thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information, which was not true. I think it was our fault that we did not communicate that fact very well, but the important thing is that no really bad stuff happens in the sense that nobody’s personal information was disclosed.”

Links for February 16th 2010 through February 17th 2010:

  • Google admits Buzz social network testing flaws [BBC News] – “Google has admitted to BBC News that testing of its controversial social network Buzz was insufficient. The firm has had to make a series of changes to the service after a ferocious backlash from users concerned about intrusions of privacy. The BBC understands that Buzz was only tested internally and bypassed more extensive trials with external testers – used for many other Google services. Google said that it was now working “extremely hard” to fix the problems. “We’re very early in this space. This was one of our first big attempts,” Todd Jackson, Buzz product manager, told BBC News.”And the line that has everyone going “Duh*: ““We’ve been testing Buzz internally at Google for a while. Of course, getting feedback from 20,000 Googlers isn’t quite the same as letting Gmail users play with Buzz in the wild.”
  • The fear fades: legal downloads make sweet music for industry [SMH] – What’s that? Given actual legal options, people still buy music? “The very thing that has torn strips from the Australian music industry now looks to be driving a return to profitability. Digital music has experienced rocketing sales that appear – last year at least – to have more than offset the continuing drop in CDs sold, according to figures released yesterday by the Australian Recording Industry Association. Buyers’ increased enthusiasm for legal digital downloads has fuelled the industry’s first year of financial growth since wholesale earnings peaked in 2003. Overall revenue last year was up almost 5 per cent to $446 million on the back of a 72 per cent rise in digital-album purchases to almost 2.3 million.”
  • A fight over freedom at Apple’s core [FT.com / UK] – Jonathan Zittrain on Apple’s philosophy shift from open (Apple Mac) to closed (iPhone/iPad): “In 1977, a 21-year-old Steve Jobs unveiled something the world had never seen before: a ready-to-program personal computer. After powering the machine up, proud Apple II owners were confronted with a cryptic blinking cursor, awaiting instructions. The Apple II was a clean slate, a device built – boldly – with no specific tasks in mind. Yet, despite the cursor, you did not have to know how to write programs. Instead, with a few keystrokes you could run software acquired from anyone, anywhere. […] Mr Jobs ushered in the personal computer era and now he is trying to usher it out. We should focus on preserving our freedoms, even as the devices we acquire become more attractive and easier to use.”
  • Is ChatRoulette the Future of the Internet or Its Distant Past? By Sam Anderson Feb 5, 2010 [New York Magazine] – Accessible and human article about ChatRoulette (a service which connects random strangers to each other to ‘chat’ via webcam or text). ChatRoulette has many sides, with some amazing stories and people, but also an awful lot of things that are best left unshared (also, not safe for kids, not safe for work, etc). For one of the most human moments I’ve read about a ChatRoulette interactions, see Scott Heiferman’s Notes from hell.
  • EMI Apparently Forgot Grey Album Disaster; Issues Takedown Of Wu Tang vs. Beatles [Techdirt] – “I’m beginning to think that EMI is trying to commit suicide, given many of its recent actions. Its latest move is to force offline a wildly popular mashup, mixing The Beatles with The Wu Tang Clan., despite it getting rave reviews and lots of attention… and despite a history of similar actions backfiring massively for EMI. Let’s take a look back. Apparently the folks over at EMI/Capitol Records have no sense of history. Back in 2004, DJ Danger Mouse put together “The Grey Album,” a fantastic mashup of The Beatles’ “The White Album” with Jay-Z’s “The Black Album.” EMI/Capitol, who holds the copyright on much of The Beatles’ catalog went nuts, and started sending cease-and-desists to pretty much everyone, leading to the infamous “Grey Tuesday” on February 24, 2004, where lots of websites posted the album in protest. Years later, EMI admitted that the Grey Album didn’t do any harm, but the company didn’t care, saying “It’s not a question of damage; it’s a question of rights.””

Links for February 15th 2010:

  • Google Buzz is About Protecting GMail’s Ad Dollars, Not Social Networking [The Steve Rubel Lifestream] – Does logging into a new website rather than just using a seamless app style interface change (or not sufficiently change) your user experience? Good question: “One of my chief issues with Google Buzz is that there’s no “there.” Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc all have destination sites or apps that allow the user to mentally switch contexts from one-to-one/one-to-few communication to one-to-many.”
  • The hole in their bucket [Inside Story] – On iiNet & film/music futures: “…the debate about copyright tends not to acknowledge the importance of this informal consumption. Nor does big media, which is suspicious of any activity from which they do not directly benefit. Yet informal circulation, generally unlicensed and unmanaged, is one of the foundations of paid consumption. It is absolutely vital to the long-term sustainability of cultural industries. This is why we now need to expand our view of what constitutes media business. A teenager who listens to illegally downloaded MP3s of her favourite band may also be a proudly paid-up member of their fan club, own several items of legally purchased merchandise, and be a paying regular at every gig. Yet the music industry’s refusal to acknowledge the role of informal circulation means that it can’t acknowledge these other potential sources of revenue. This studied ignorance does little to help record companies out of their current structural crisis. The same is true of film. “
  • How to confuse a Facebook user [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – Huh? “… sometimes your worst fears are given a real form – when you see the responses what is a browser, for example, or as shown by a little incident when the site ReadWriteWeb wrote about Facebook…. with hilarious consequences. Yesterday RWW wrote a post about how Facebook was partnering with AOL, in a way that would make the site’s login procedure more powerful than ever before – headlining the story “Facebook wants to be your one true login”. Suddenly, thanks to the magic of Google, that post became the most heavily-featured result for searches like “Facebook login” – which caused all kinds of confusion. It looks like a number of users clicked on the top result, expecting to be taken to Facebook’s login page (also known as, erm, facebook.com) and instead being presented with this ENTIRELY DIFFERENT site. The post now has a comment thread of around 300 posts, many from disgruntled Facebook users who have clicked and can’t work out what’s happened to the site they know and love.”

Kudos to Google; after a lukewarm reception and provoking privacy concerns, Google have stepped up and made some quick changes to their new Buzz social tool.  The most substantial change is making it possible to easily and visibly add your Buzz contacts to your public Google profile (if you have one); they’ve also made is easier to see who is and isn’t going to appear if you use a public profile to share your Buzz, and the ability to block people is easier, too (which is important since Google auto-creates your initial Buzz contact list).

Buzz has a long way to go before it’ll compete with other popular micro-blogging services, or Facebook, but Mashable has a useful feature request list and they do note for a service getting so much flack, Buzz had already had 9 million items of content created or shared (“meaning that it’s getting over 160,000 comments and posts per hour”).  Perhaps buzzing will join tweeting in our social media vocabulary soon.

Of course, if you’re completely over all this buzzing about Buzz, you’ll probably enjoy this:

Update (Feb 14): Only four days after Buzz was launched, Google are already making a second round of feature changes to address the massive privacy backlash to the original launch.  Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis is pondering why Buzz was one of the few Google products to skip the beta phase but for those of you sticking with, or at least testing out, Buzz, Google Operating System has a good list of useful but not-so-visible Buzz features you’ll want to know about.

Links for February 11th 2010:

  • Warner Music Shoots Self In Head; Says No More Free Streaming [Techdirt] – How to encourage music piracy 101: “A few years back, it seemed like Warner Music actually had a better handle on where the music industry was heading than its 3 major label rivals. In the last two years, however, it seems like WMG has consistently gone further and further in the opposite direction. It may have hit a new low today with the announcement that it will pull out of all free streaming music licensing offers. Yes, Warner Music just told the one thing that was effectively competing with unauthorized downloads to shove off. Brilliant.”
  • Google baulks at Conroy’s call to censor YouTube [SMH] – Google tells Stephen Conroy it won’t be filtering YouTube for him! Australian “Communications Minister Stephen Conroy referred to Google’s censorship on behalf of the Chinese and Thai governments in making his case for the company to impose censorship locally. Google Australia’s head of policy, Iarla Flynn, said the company had a bias in favour of freedom of expression in everything it did and Conroy’s comparisons between how Australia and China deal with access to information were not “helpful or relevant”. Google has recently threatened to pull out of China, partly due to continuing requests for it to censor material. “YouTube has clear policies about what content is not allowed, for example hate speech and pornography, and we enforce these, but we can’t give any assurances that we would voluntarily remove all Refused Classification content from YouTube,” Flynn said.”
  • WARNING: Google Buzz Has A Huge Privacy Flaw [Business Insider] – The privacy problems with Buzz defaults: “There is a huge privacy flaw in Google’s new Twitter/Facebook competitor, Google Buzz. When you first go into Google Buzz, it automatically sets you up with followers and people to follow. A Google spokesperson tells us these people are chosen based on whom the users emails and chats with most using Gmail. That’s fine. The problem is that — by default — the people you follow and the people that follow you are made public to anyone who looks at your profile. In other words, before you ever touch any settings in Google Buzz, someone could go into your profile and see who are the people you email and chat with most. In my profession – where anonymous sourcing is a crucial tool — the implications are terrifying. But it’s bad for others too. Two obvious scenarios come to mind: imagine if a wife discovering that her husband emails and chats with an old girlfriend a ton. Imagine a boss discovers a subordinate emails with executives at a competitor”
  • More Fun than Blackboard – A satirical blog which documents things which might be “more fun that Blackboard’s discussion board system”. So far, blog entries include root canal surgery and running with scissors!

This morning Google announced a new social feed feature for GMail called Buzz; check out the 2-minute video for the details:

In short Google seems to be courting the world of the social once again, and leveraging their extremely popular GMail service.  From The Guardian to Jeff Jarvis, the reception of Buzz has been lukewarm, with most commentators noting that Google’s earlier social forays like Orkut or Google Profiles failed to reach popularity except in localised ways. Dave Winer argues that Buzz is dead-on-arrival for developers due to an API which doesn’t leverage a familiar interface (such as Twitter’s API) and thus is unlikely to be developer-friendly.  Gizmondo notes that Buzz is more like Facebook status updates than Twitter, “with Likes, dislikes and the ability to respond directly to a posting and have other people see it. When someone makes a new comment in reply to an old Buzz, it bumps that entire Buzz up to the top.”

Personally, I’ve already disabled chat in GMail so while I’ll try Buzz out, I suspect it’ll be disabled pretty soon (I’ve already got Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed, so one more lifestream tool seems unnecessary). I also like my GMail to stay for email, and I don’t fancy getting Buzz replies (Buzzes?) sent straight to my GMail inbox (not limited to the Buzz tab).  Buzz seems to drag content in (from Flickr and Twitter, for example) but is one-way; Buzzes don’t (and can’t as yet) send back to Twitter, which seems a rather anti-social integration! I’m also unclear on how Buzz profiles for non-GMail users will be created … if that’s even possible. All that said, I’ve dismissed a few other winners recently, so I’ll give it a try and see what happens.  If you’ve on GMail, feel free to add me on Buzz and we’ll see how the conversations go!