Tag Archive: buzz

Apr 13

Google Buzz buttons

We’ve seen lots of people using Google Buzz to share interesting links from around the web. To do so, you had to copy and paste the link from one browser window to another — there weren’t buttons that made it easy to post to Google Buzz without leaving the site you’re on. Savvy sites like Mashable and TechCrunch quickly got creative and implemented their own Buzz buttons, using Google Reader as the backend. But not every site owner should have to hack together their own version of these buttons (and not everyone who uses Buzz also uses Reader), so this morning we’re making copy-and-paste Buzz buttons available for anyone to use.

Starting today, you’ll see these buttons around the web on participating sites including: The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Glamour, YouTube, Blogger, MySpace, GigaOM, PBS Parents, PBS NewsHour, The Next Web, TweetDeck, SocialWok, Disqus, Vinehub, and Buzzzy. Mashable and TechCrunch have updated their sites to use these new buttons too.


A number of sharing platforms, including ShareThis (pictured below), Meebo, Shareholic, AddThis and AddtoAny have also incorporated the Google Buzz button into their sharing functionality, so you’ll see Buzz listed as a choice when you go to share something on many other sites around the web as well.


If you want to add Google Buzz buttons to your site, just go to buzz.google.com/stuff, configure your buttons with a couple clicks and copy a few lines of JavaScript. Paste this code where you’d like the Buzz buttons to appear and you’re all set.


And if you’d like to promote your own Google Buzz account, we have a button for you, which allows people to follow you on Buzz right from your blog or website. Here’s an example using the Google Buzz team’s own Buzz account (clicking it will take you to the Buzz team’s profile page and from there you can easily follow our team’s posts):

Follow on Buzz

You can grab that button code from buzz.google.com/stuff as well.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/google-buzz-buttons

Apr 05

Confirm your Buzz settings

Shortly after launching Google Buzz, we quickly realized we didn’t get everything right and moved as fast as possible to improve the Buzz experience. We made a number of changes to the getting started experience based on your feedback, the most significant of which was replacing auto-following with suggestions for people to follow.

Rather than automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with most, Google Buzz now suggests people for you to follow instead. This way, Buzz is still simple to set up (no one wants to peck out an entire social network from scratch) but you aren’t set up to follow anyone until you choose to do so.

But many of you started using Google Buzz before we made these changes, and we want to help you ensure that Buzz is set up the way you want. Offering everyone who uses our products transparency and control is very important to us, so if you started using Google Buzz before we changed the start-up experience, you’ll see the following confirmation page the next time you click into the Buzz tab:

This page highlights your current Buzz settings and makes it easy to change anything you want. You can view and edit the people you’re following and the people following you, elect whether you want those lists appearing on your public Google profile, and modify any of the sites you have connected to Google Buzz, like Picasa, Google Reader, or Twitter. If everything looks good, you can confirm your Buzz set-up with a single click. And remember, you can always change who you’re following by clicking “Following XX people” from the Buzz tab or modify your preferences from the Buzz section of Gmail Settings.

To keep up to date with all of the improvements we’re making to Google Buzz and provide your feedback, follow our team’s Google Buzz account. For tips and tricks on using Google Buzz, check out the videos on our new YouTube channel: youtube.com/googlebuzz.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/confirm-your-buzz-settings

Apr 02

Improved comment collapsing for Google Buzz posts

Any Google Buzz post can turn into a lively discussion. Sometimes these conversations can gather lots of new comments very quickly, turning them into “skyscraper” posts that can dominate your entire screen, especially if you don’t check Buzz for a few days. We’ve heard from many of you that these big posts can be a lot to skim over.

Today, we’re making some changes to how comments get collapsed in Google Buzz. In the past, old comments were sometimes collapsed, but new comments (posted since your last visit to the Buzz tab) were always expanded. Now, if there are enough of them, new comments may be collapsed as well. Here’s the nitty gritty on how it’ll work by the end of the day once we finish rolling out these changes:

  • If there are 3 or more previous or new comments, we collapse them into a group.
  • We leave the latest previous comment (from before your last visit) expanded to give you context.

  • We leave the last two new comments (since your last visit) expanded so you can get a taste of the ongoing conversation and decide if you’re interested.

  • If there are enough previous and new comments, we collapse them together into a single line to save space.

  • You’ll see the names of some of the people whose comments are collapsed, which can help you decide if you might be interested in diving into the conversation.

These changes will limit how much space any one post can take up in the Buzz tab and prevent the popular posts you’re not interested in from dominating the stream. We hope this helps make Google Buzz a little less noisy so you can focus on conversations you care about.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/improved-comment-collapsing-for-google-buzz-posts

Mar 13

Better controls for buzz in your inbox

When you participate in a conversation in Google Buzz, we bring that post to your inbox to make it easy to keep up with the discussion. But we’ve heard loud and clear that buzz in your inbox can get noisy — we feel it too, so today we’re launching two features to help with this:

1) Settings to control what gets sent to your inbox
From the Buzz tab of Gmail Settings, you’ll be able to choose whether the following buzz items get sent to your inbox:

  • Comments on your posts
  • Comments on posts after you comment on them
  • Comments on posts after you are @replied on them

2) Explanations for why posts get sent to your inbox and an easy-to-find “Mute” link
You’ll see a new message at the top of each post in your inbox that explains why it’s there: someone commented on your post, you were @replied, etc. We’ve also added an easy-to-find “mute” link that will stop subsequent comments from bringing the conversation back to your inbox.

These are just the first in series of features designed to help control the noise level in Google Buzz, so stay tuned for more. If you have ideas for Google Buzz you’d like to share with the team, you can post your ideas and vote for others on our official Product Ideas page.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/better-controls-for-buzz-in-your-inbox

Feb 22

5 more Buzz tips: post by email, follow the Buzz team, and more

1. Post by email. You can post buzz by emailing buzz@gmail.com — super handy for posting photos you take on your phone. Photos that you attach to your email will appear along with the subject line of your message. You can choose who can see posts you email into Buzz from the connected sites menu (click “Buzz,” then “Connected Sites”).

2. Prevent your boring chat status messages from being posted to Buzz. By default, your chat status messages are posted to Buzz and shared with your chat contacts. Don’t want a boring message like “be right back” to turn into a Buzz post? Just put parentheses around it. If you don’t want any of your chat status messages to get posted, you can always disconnect chat from the connected sites menu.

3. Look for the yellow line to see what’s new. Can’t figure out what’s new on the Buzz tab? Posts and comments new since your last visit have a light yellow line along the left hand edge (if you’re using a different theme the color may vary).

4. Link to a post. Each Buzz post has a permalink, so you can link to it. Click the down-arrow in the upper right-hand corner of a post, and select “Link to this post.” Of course, you’lll only be able to see the posts you have access to.

5. Follow the Buzz team in Google Buzz. Visit buzz.google.com/googlebuzz and click “Follow Google Buzz” to get updates about what we’re working on and send us your feedback.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/5-more-buzz-tips-post-by-email-follow-the-buzz-team-and-more-2

Feb 18

5 Buzz tips

Now that people have been playing with Google Buzz in Gmail for a week and we’ve rolled out the improvements we announced here over the weekend, we wanted to let you know about some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Buzz. Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Format your posts. When posting in Buzz, you can format text just as you can in Gmail chat: *bold*, _italics_, or -strikethrough- all work.

2. View a summary of your own Buzz activity at www.google.com/dashboard. The Google Dashboard provides a private, consolidated summary of the data associated with your Google account, as well as direct links to control your personal settings. As of today, Buzz has its own section on the Dashboard, so you can see how many people you’re following, how many people are following you, and information about your recent posts, comments, and likes. You can also access your Buzz settings right there on the page.


3. Use an @reply to send a post directly to someone’s inbox. If you want to make sure one of your friends sees a certain Buzz post, you can direct it to their inbox with an @reply. Type the “@” symbol followed by the first few letters of their name, and select their email address from the list. Only you’ll see their Gmail address — other people will just see their name.

4. Try keyboard shortcuts to fly through buzz. Turn on keyboard shortcuts from Settings, and use “j” or “n” to scroll down the buzz tab, “k” or “p” to go back up, “r” to comment (same shortcut as reply in Gmail), and “shift + l” to like.

5. Mute posts so they don’t get sent to your inbox. Comments on your posts and comments after your comments send buzz directly to your inbox. If you don’t want a lively conversation to keep appearing in your inbox as people reply to it, you can mute it. Click the arrow in the corner of a buzz post and select “Mute this post.”


If you have keyboard shortcuts turned on, you can also mute buzz that appears in your inbox by hitting the “m” key while you’re reading it.

Check out our Help Center for more tips and answers to your common questions, and stay tuned for more here as well.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/5-buzz-tips-2

Feb 13

A new Buzz start-up experience based on your feedback

We’ve heard your feedback loud and clear, and since we launched Google Buzz four days ago, we’ve been working around the clock to address the concerns you’ve raised. Today, we wanted to let you know about a number of changes we’ll be making over the next few days based on all the feedback we’ve received.

First, auto-following. With Google Buzz, we wanted to make the getting started experience as quick and easy as possible, so that you wouldn’t have to manually peck out your social network from scratch. However, many people just wanted to check out Buzz and see if it would be useful to them, and were not happy that they were already set up to follow people. This created a great deal of concern and led people to think that Buzz had automatically displayed the people they were following to the world before they created a profile.

On Thursday, after hearing that people thought the checkbox for choosing not to display this information publicly was too hard to find, we made this option more prominent. But that was clearly not enough. So starting this week, instead of an auto-follow model in which Buzz automatically sets you up to follow the people you email and chat with most, we’re moving to an auto-suggest model. You won’t be set up to follow anyone until you have reviewed the suggestions and clicked “Follow selected people and start using Buzz.”

For the tens of millions of you who have already started using Buzz, over the next couple weeks we’ll be showing you a similar version of this new start-up experience to give you a second chance to review and confirm the people you’re following. If you want to review this list now, just go to the Buzz tab, click “Following XX people” and unfollow anyone you wish. If you don’t want to share the lists of people who are following you and people you are following publicly on your profile, you can opt out at any time from the edit profile page.

Second, Buzz will no longer connect your public Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader shared items automatically. Just to be clear: Buzz only automatically connected content that was already public, so if you had previously shared photos in an “Unlisted” album or set your Google Reader shared items as “Protected,” no one except the people you’d explicitly allowed to see your stuff has been able to see it. But due to your feedback Buzz will no longer connect these sites automatically.

Third, we’re adding a Buzz tab to Gmail Settings. From there, you’ll be able to hide Buzz from Gmail or disable it completely. In addition, there will be a link to these settings from the initial start-up page so you can easily decide from the get go that you don’t want to use Buzz at all.

It’s been an exciting and challenging week for the Buzz team. We’ve been getting feedback via the Gmail help forums and emails from friends and family, and we’ve also been able to do something new: read the buzz about Buzz itself. We quickly realized that we didn’t get everything quite right. We’re very sorry for the concern we’ve caused and have been working hard ever since to improve things based on your feedback. We’ll continue to do so.

Update (2/18): These changes are now live with the exception of the similar version of the start-up experience for those of you who are already using Buzz.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/a-new-buzz-start-up-experience-based-on-your-feedback-2

Feb 11

Millions of Buzz users, and improvements based on your feedback

It’s been just two days since we first launched Google Buzz. Since then, tens of millions of people have checked Buzz out, creating over 9 million posts and comments. Plus, we’re seeing over 200 posts per minute from mobile phones around the world.

We’ve had plenty of feature requests, and some direct feedback. In particular there’s been concern from some people who thought their contacts were being made public without their knowledge (in particular the lists of people they follow, and the people following them). In addition, others felt they had too little control over who could follow them and were upset that they lacked the ability to block people who didn’t yet have public profiles from following them.

Like Gmail’s chat service, Buzz helps you create a social network by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with most. You can change, delete or add any contacts you want to follow.

So here is some more information about how Buzz works, and some immediate improvements we are making today based on your feedback.

The first time you create a post or comment in Buzz, we ask you to create a limited public profile (at a minimum it’s just your first and last names). We do this so we’ll know what name to display next to your posts — and so the people you follow know who you are. As you do this, we notify you that the lists of people you follow and the people following you will be displayed on your public profile. You can view, edit, and even hide these lists. The lists of your followers/people you follow are not made public on your profile until after you go through this profile creation step.

That said, we heard from people that the checkbox for choosing not to display this information was too hard to find, and based on this feedback, we’ve changed the notice to make it very clear. We will roll these changes out to all Gmail users later today.

1. More visible option to not show followers/people you follow on your public profile
If you don’t want to share the lists of people who are following you and people you are following publicly on your profile, you can always opt out during the profile set-up when you first use Buzz or at any time from the edit profile page. We are making this option more prominent in the set up process, to ensure everyone who wanted to hide these lists can do so easily.

2. Ability to block anyone who starts following you
We are making it easier to block anyone, by adding “Block” links to the list of people following you. Previously, you were only able to block people from following you after they had created a public profile. Now, you can block anyone, regardless of whether or not they’ve already created profiles for themselves.

3. More clarity on which of your followers/people you follow can appear on your public profile
Initially, we showed you a list of all the people who would be following you once they created a public profile. However, only those contacts who had already created a public profile would show up on your public follower list. We’re making this clearer by explicitly distinguishing which of your followers have public profiles and will show in your public list of followers. With this change you’ll be able to see who is on the public list of followers that everyone else sees.

We designed Buzz to make it easy to connect with others and have conversations about things that interest you, and it’s great to see millions of you doing this already. It’s still early, and we have a long list of improvements on the way. We look forward to hearing more suggestions and will continue to improve the Buzz experience with user transparency and control top of mind. For more information about the choices you have when using Google Buzz, please visit our Help Center.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/millions-of-buzz-users-and-improvements-based-on-your-feedback-2

Feb 09

Google Buzz in Gmail

Five years ago, Gmail was just email. Later we added chat and then video chat, both built right in, so people had choices about how to communicate from a single browser window. Today, communication on the web has evolved beyond email and chat — people are sharing photos with friends and family, commenting on news happening around them, and telling the world what they’re up to in real-time. This new social sharing is valuable, but it means there’s a lot more stuff to sort through, and it’s harder to get past status updates and engage in meaningful discussions.

Today, we’re launching Google Buzz, a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting and share updates, photos, videos and more. Buzz is built right into Gmail, so there’s nothing to set up — you’re automatically following the people you email and chat with the most.

We focused on making the sharing experience really rich by integrating photos, videos, and links. No more fuzzy little pictures: Buzz makes it easy to quickly flip through photos and experience them the way they were meant to be seen: big and full-resolution. And videos play inline so you can watch them without opening a new window.

You can choose to share publicly with the world or privately to a small group of friends each time you post. And you can connect other sites you use, today there’s Picasa, Flickr, Google Reader, and Twitter, so your friends can keep up with what you’re doing around the web — all in one place.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the best part of sharing, Buzz sends responses to your posts straight to your inbox. Unlike static email messages, buzz messages in your inbox are live conversations where comments appear in real time.

You can follow the specific people whose posts you want to see, but Buzz also recommends posts from people you’re not directly following, often ones where your friends are having a lively conversation in the comments. If you’re not interested in a particular recommendation, just click the “Not interested” link and your feedback will help improve the recommendations system. Buzz also weeds out uninteresting posts from the people you follow — collapsing inactive posts and short status messages like “brb.” These early versions of ranking and recommendations are just a start; we’re working on improvements that will help you automatically sort through all the social data being produced to find the most relevant conversations that matter to you.

For all those times when you want to share something but aren’t in front of your computer, Buzz is also available on your phone. When you’re out in the real world, a lot of the information you want to share often has to do with where you are: for example, you may want to talk about a new restaurant you discovered or the score of the game you’re watching. So rather than simply a small screen version of the desktop experience, Buzz for mobile brings location to the forefront and makes it easy to have conversations about places. In addition to checking out buzz from people you’re following, you can also see nearby buzz from the people around you.


We’ll be rolling out Google Buzz to everyone over the next few days; you’ll see a new “Buzz” link under “Inbox” when it’s on for your account. We’re still working on some features to make Buzz work well for businesses and schools, so it isn’t yet available in Google Apps, but stay tuned. If you want to learn more in the meantime, visit buzz.google.com or check out the Help Center.

Update (2/10): The video of yesterday’s Google Buzz launch event is now available.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/google-buzz-in-gmail-2