When I logged into Gmail today, I was greeted by some weird "Welcome to Buzz" screen. Having no clue what it was (and it coming from Google, who's stuff I generally like), I was a little intrigued. Once clicking through the "I agree" nonsense, trying to get to see what it was about, my usual Gmail screen finally loaded. This time, just below my inbox was a link to "Buzz".

So, what is it all about? well, basically, it integrates some of Google's Social networking tools into one place, ie. Gmail. Currently it integrates Picasa, Flickr, Google Reader, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube and all the Google chat statuses. so, basically everything you post in these places, will appear to your followers. Hmmm... Intersting. It's obviously an attempt to take on Facebook on the social networking side. Apparently Facebook has about 400 million users whereas Gmail has about 170 million if stats are to believed. But, I guess given a few months, this will all change again. The problem is that with networks, value is proportional to the number of members. This is sort of a reverse supply and demand rule. Usually, the more people that have an item, the lower the value of the item, whereas there isn't much point to a network if you're the only one on it. So... Google has quite a bit of catching up, but it may just do it... As it's got a great base to start with.

It is quite scary though how Google is holding all the chips in the IT world - Data in this case and is in the process of consolidating and adding to it - they're no longer just in the search business. They haven't been for a long time... 



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