For me, Google is the new LinkedIn.
I have a Google account linked to about 20 of Google’s various services. Analytics, YouTube, Reader, Alerts, AdWords, Docs, Maps, FeedBurner, Notebook … and these are all great services that have a huge impact on what I’m able to do via the Internet – as a consumer of information, as a “webmaster” …
The one thing that is absent from my experience with all of these services (for me) is “social.”
I have a gmail account with zero contacts, because it exists only to log me into my other services. I use Google Reader to share what I’m reading – but I do this by running my Reader RSS feed through twitterfeed.com into Twitter. I have subscribers on my FeedBurner account, but I have no idea who they are.
YouTube is social – but I don’t happen to be one of those users that has subscribers or makes comments.
Really, it’s the professional tools that have had me adding connections. Our web team is all on Google Analytics. We use Docs to manage our incoming work requests. And now, I’ve dipped my toe (very shallowly) into Wave to collaborate on a conference.
The thing about professional services … is that these are the people that i want to put up walls with. Not because they aren’t fantastic – I spend more time with them than most of my friends (thanks 9 – 5), but it’s just plain smart to separate personal from private.
So it looks like I’ll be treating Google Buzz (and all Google products) as a professional network. I’ll run my twitter feed through it – because I use Twitter to publish things that I am comfortable with having completely public. Almost 0% of my “personal” social network uses twitter.
There are things that are only of value/interest to my “professional” world, and others that are only of interest/appropriate for my “personal” world. Then there are things that might appeal to either or – especially as both services continue to mainstream and the lines blur.
So what does Google Buzz mean to me? Another service that I will pump my Twitter, Blog and “what I’ve been reading” list through. I’m almost hesitant to even set up a profile – it’s informal/fun fields (super power?) set a tone for glib content that I might live to regret three years down the line when I stumble back across it and realize that my funny-at-the-time answers have been floating online all this time in the background on a network I forgot about because there was no motivation for me ever to come back after filling out the profile back in February 2010.