Sunday, March 28, 2010

Google Buzz: Needing an on ramp that real people can use

Real people can use the Internet. With web browsers conforming to well-established Internet standards, they can type in URLs and go to web sites. They can see links on those web sites and can click on them to go to other web sites. Although the underlying protocols can have complex interactions, for a real person using a browser, it just works.

That person doesn't need to have authored the protocol himself or herself.

That person doesn't need to have personally interacted with the person authoring the protocol.

All that person needs for basic functionality is the ability to point and click. For a bit more options, hunt and peck typing is required.

That's it.

Controlling what you do with Google Buzz, however, requires much more than this basic level of functionality. Here are a few things you need to understand just to get started:

  • The social graph api
  • Knowledge of who the buzz architects are, so that you can trove through buzzes they wrote at some stage about how to connect things into buzz.
  • A bit of luck that the tools these architects wrote don't break on some feature of the Internet that your browser seems to handle just fine.
Watch one man's saga here. It's been humbling.