Watchers of the Internet scene were aware, as Taiyo Johnson reported, that local businesses no longer need a website. In its Local Business Center, Google works hard to develop listings for all local businesses. Now the Google Local Business Center is turning into a small business blog dashboard. Each business has a Place Page.
As Google advises, you can now post to your Place Page.
Posting to your Place Page allows you to give Google Maps users recent updates about your business. These posts can be changed quickly, so posts to your Place Page allow the Local Business Center to keep up with the pace of your business. Once you post a message expect 5-10 minutes before it shows on the Place Page.
If you found that a somewhat surprising development, then hold on to your hats since Google now seems to be trying to supplant Facebook and Twitter in offering a new type of social media, Buzz.
Google Buzz is Google’s attempt at tackling the latest social networking craze. While Google has tried before at taking this market over with its own services such as Orkut, Knol, Picasa to name a few – none are even close to being true rivlas with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
So Google Buzz will let you see all your contact’s status updates from a wide variety of networks and allow you to see them all from the comfort of your own Gmail account. This means it is in pretty close competition with sites like Friendfeed as well as Facebook – who has also started to integrate messages from other locations. I guess if you can’t beat them – join them, take all their stuff, put it all on your site… and call it Google Buzz!
Provided you’re happy to go with Google as your Internet infrastructure, it all looks pretty appealing. However the rocky progress of the Local Business Center shows that relying on computer based systems without human over-ride can produce very problematic results. It will be interesting to see whether Google can finetune Buzz and get it to appeal on a consistent basis to its users. First signs leave that as a big question mark.
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- Will you be using Google Buzz? (guardian.co.uk)