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How to Optimize Google Buzz for Social Network Benefits

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Google Buzz has created a lot of Buzz in the social web since its big launch. We all familiar how the story went when something as sacred as our email contacts to be handled publicly without our consent. When Google apologized and willing to tweak the privacy settings, my frustration subsided a bit. Everyone deserves a second chance, right?

What I Learned from Google’s Big Flaw?


My biggest concern is to lose control over what to be shared publicly for my social accounts. There may be no secrets out in the open web but users should hold the key for privacy authorizations, not the service providers. Nevertheless, Google Buzz had my attention even though we started off on the wrong foot. Now I’m more keen than ever to discover how it can be a ‘helper’ instead of a troublemaker for my social network benefits.


How to Optimize Google Buzz for Social Network Benefits


While Chris Garrett enlightened us with tips to start your Google Buzz, I’m going to share how I utilize Google Buzz as my network booster:

#1 Google Buzz – My Public @ Inner Network Circles


Initially, Google Buzz auto-connected us to people we have corresponded with in Gmail. I wouldn’t want to waste the list so the first thing I do is make sure the contacts are properly grouped- People I Know, Bloggers, ex-Colleagues etc. This helps to keep certain discussions visible and focus to particular group. Also, a good precaution if Google Buzz ever gone public in Google Search. Now is the best time to manage your stream and reputation.

Suggested Read: Manage your Settings in Google Buzz; Filter Google Buzz Updates from your Gmail

Caution:

Be extra careful for the group you’ve picked for your last update. It will remain to be the default receiver unless you manually change it before posting.

#2 Google Buzz – My Discussion Panel & Feedback


Probably what I like best about Google Buzz – no 140/420 word limit as in Twitter or Facebook. Furthermore, it involves your trusted network (correspondence) so definitely can be of some use. I can post a question, include links manually or integrate several social media sites for feedback:

For additional site integrations, follow the below methods:

a)   Your Very Own Blog(s)

1. Sign up for a Webmaster account.

2. Add your blog to Webmaster and verify ownership by inserting the codes given.

3. After the verification is done properly, you can now click at ‘ x connected sites’ to retrieve the newly added blog. Click ‘Add’ to include.

You can add as many sites as you prefer as long you have the access to place the verifying codes.


b)   Other Blogs

Can be imported by Google Reader.  Just subscribe to these sites and include Google Reader in ‘connected sites’. You can manually ‘Share’ any posts with or without comments.


c)   Facebook & Social Bookmarking Updates

Obviously there are no easy options to integrate Facebook in Buzz. However it doesn’t stop us to do so with the big help from FriendFeed. You can even import your updates from Stumbleupon, Delicious, Disqus and many more as long the services are covered by FriendFeed:

This is how Facebook updates been transmitted to Google Buzz:

Extra: To send Google Buzz to your Facebook personal acc, try Google Buzz Sync. (thanks Hartley for this valuable info)

Caution:

  • The updates may not be instant, some took minutes while some hours to publish.
  • New FriendFeed account holders may experience difficulties to import updates from certain social media sites.

DO NOT simply delete your social media profiles on FriendFeed to prevent glitches. I fail to re-connect my Stumbleupon account as FriendFeed is unable to retrieve my username. Facebook can only allow Links & Notes to be imported to FriendFeed, not status updates. Seems like this issue was brought up since May 2009. However, there is still a possible way to do so although it’s not perfect. I’m still working on improving the method, hopefully good news is on the way.


d)   Selected Twitter Updates

This method only works for those who remained their older Facebook configuration in FriendFeed that’s still able to import Facebook status updates to date. If you can, Do Not Refresh your Facebook configuration. (All imported tweets will be treated as ‘Facebook Updates’, not links.)

If you prefer to keep Twitter moderated so not to flood the Buzz streams, sending selective tweets to Buzz can be done based on the idea of Twitter->Facebook->FriendFeed->Buzz integration. Have a read of how you can fix up the configuration with 3 Easy Ways to Share Selective Tweets on Facebook Pages, even auto-scheduling.




#3 Google Buzz – Discover New Contacts & Content


You can do so by:

  • Following your friends, discovering who they are connecting with and participate in the discussions;
  • Search for niche discussions using Google Buzz search or Buzzzy advanced feature;
  • Have a look at ‘Suggested’ contacts provided by Google Buzz.

I’ve found some people to thank who shared my posts on the Buzz stream,

discover new contacts,

and even had a good laugh.


Google Buzz may not be your #1 place to meet people, but it’s an additional platform for Google devotees to mingle. You can extend the new friendship elsewhere anyhow you’re comfortable with.  Especially when Google Buzz is yet to be a front runner, it’s best to get involved and noticed by your targeted contacts easily with a little bit more effort. Not to mention, it is giving your Google Profile more page impressions.

Google Buzz is not for everyone, but it will work for some


I loved this article – It’s about the people not the tools. There is no right or wrong. No disputes required to prove how effective is Google Buzz. When it comes to which applications you should use, go back to your root: who and where is your audience? How do you plan to utilize social media in reaching out to them? You are the deciding factor.


Now is Your Turn…


How is your experience with Google Buzz? Feel free to express your thoughts and extra opinions on how you plan to optimize Google Buzz for your social network benefits.


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