Friday, March 7, 2008

Yahoo Buzz - New "Buzz Up" service unlikely to make Microsoft Buzz Off

As the days go by and I read more and more articles online I'm beginning to notice more and more "Buzz Up!" buttons alongside the now-standard bookmarking chiclets. You've probably noticed them too and may be wondering what they are and what they do.

Basically they're to do with Yahoo's new Buzz service, which, for all intents and purposes, is Yahoo's answer to Digg, or Reddit or or any number of a hundred other social bookmarking sites which are now long since established and already sport millions upon millions of users.

So, essentially, it's just another button to put at the bottom of your article, next to my Add This and my RSS feed. Except it's a Yahoo button - i.e. the largest web portal on the planet. So it's going to be popular - of that I'm certain - and getting "Buzzed" will no doubt be as good as, if not better than, being Dugg or Furled or whatever else.

Yahoo aren't going to be winning any awards for innovation here, but it's none the less a clever move. With Yahoo's significant web-clout behind it, webmasters will be quite eager to embrace this new service. (I've already signed up myself) After all the more ways to get your content shared and read and your sites visited the better and when you consider how much traffic Yahoo gets...

That said, I don't see Buzz replacing the likes of Digg or any time soon and it certainly won't help Yahoo get Microsoft off its back. What it will do, however, is introduce a whole new audience to the world of social bookmarking which, let's face it, is still mostly populated by the geekier end of the web spectrum.

I wouldn't be surprised, therefore, once this goes out of Beta, if social bookmarking becomes the new social networking and we end up with a second round of shaky partnerships and clumsy acquisitions, with Google, Microsoft/Microhoo and Newscorp all vying for control of social bookmarking sites just like they did for Facebook and MySpace last year.

Facebook and MySpace are still big, but then so is Jupiter and, it too, is an uninhabitable gas giant, well maybe not uninhabitable, but certainly not monitizable.
But with social bookmarking, there's a very real possibility that, having penetrated all the gaseous hype and hullabaloo, its core might actually contain something with a bit of value and substance for a change. A site like Digg is a much better medium for marketing than Facebook and certainly easier to monetise and advertise too.

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