Privacy group files FTC complaint on Google Buzz – Boston.com

From the Boston Globe — As if we need more buzz on Buzz. Rumors were that a watchdog group was prepared to file an FTC complaint against Google’s new Buzz platform. Read more here from the Boston Globe;

Privacy group files FTC complaint on Google Buzz – Boston.com.

Twitter Search v. Google: A Superbowl Postscript

So a couple of days ago I penned a little ditty called “In Twitter Search I Trust (Or Why I Am Googling Less).” Since then it seems like my radar is tuned into articles and comments that I should have mentioned in my earlier post.  So folks, I offer a quick postscript inspired by the following;

  • The NY Times talks about the potential of social search engines in  “A Search Engine That Relies on Humans” from Feb. 5th.  Aardvark and Mahalo are mentioned as emerging examples of the new social search trend. To use either site you can create an account with them or authenticate to their sites via your Facebook login and with Mahalo you can use also use Twitter.  I haven’t been sold on either of these services, and welcome comments from anyone that has some insight and experience here.
  • Also from the Times blog roll is an article from January 27th  on Google’s plan to add more social searching. In my earlier post I mentioned Google’s inclusion of Twitter feeds, and this Times article gives you an overview of more things to come (and a link to the Google blog).

Unscientifically, I’d like to think that Google’s Superbowl ad is the icing on the cake that supports my original blog post on shifting search habits.  As the Google ad aired, Superbowl tweeters gave a collective  “huh?” and “what?” One Tweeter asked the simple question “Since when does Google need to advertise?” And Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch tweeted his blog headline: “Hell Freezes Over As Google Runs Its First Super Bowl Ad.”   (By the way, did anyone notice that the style of  Google Superbowl Ad is eerily similar to Kansas State University Professor  Mike Wesch’s famous  The Machine is Using Us/Web 2.0 YouTube video from 2007?) As I watched, and monitored the tweet traffic, I considered  it Google’s  attempt to remind us that they remain the best search game in town?   But if you are the best, do you need a Superbowl ad to remind me?

This is all a to be continued story with all signs pointed to Google playing catch-up in the social network sphere.  The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google will announce a new social feature as part of its Gmail suite on Tuesday, Feb. 9th. For more coverage also check out TechCrunch‘s articles.  So stay tuned folks…

In Twitter Search I Trust (Or Why I Am Googling Less)

When Twitter first launched I did what any entrepreneurial educational technologist did and registered for an account.  It was the infancy of Twitter, when tweets read more like a public collection of Facebook updates. The media coverage was full of speculation, curiosity, and of course humor (see the famous “Twouble with Twitters” video). I only had a couple of colleagues trying it out, so I really didn’t have any lively banter or collaboration going on.  And it seemed most people interested in following me were spammers.

Somehow this didn’t dissuade me from checking regularly on Twitter’s evolution and progress.  I searched for keywords and lurked with interest on a few regular hashtag conversations, especially  #edtech, #eLearn and the more recent  #edchat .  Folks whom I’ve never met, but with similar professional interests, were sharing resources, tips,  ideas and articles that provided just-in-time relevancy to my field.  And then somehow, without really noticing, my web searching habits began to shift. I was soon doing searches on topics  first via Twitter, and  then Google, but only if needed.  This completely surprised me because back in March of 2009 I read  “Twitter Destined to Replace Google Search” on twitip and thought “whatever!”

So what changed? Well for one, my Twitter searching seems to follow a pattern. Generally, I am trying to do one of the following things;  answer a question, solve a problem quickly, or get recommendations for resources.  Doing Google searches is somewhat effective –but not exacting. As the twitip article describes, Twitter is positioned to give a better search experience because people are directly powering the content, which provides context to the search.  A search engine can not find context, or even relevance within the content.

Twitter provides me two ways to carry out my searches; I can ask my question to my twitter community, while also performing a key word search through Twitter, or using  a Twitter search engine like Topsy. Generally, I get good leads from each approach, and often these leads will help me refine a more effective and efficient  search of data via Google.  The icing on the cake is that my Twitter community is only a touch screen away via a mobile device. There is no shortage of mobile apps for smartphones or the iTouch.  I can truly have one information hub no matter what device I am connecting with, bringing continuity to the search process.

I am not alone in appreciating the differences and unique benefits of a Twitter search.  I found a piece from Josh Bernoff at Forrester Research describing  Twitter search “your own personal groundswell.”  Which brings me to the social aspect of the search process and the immediate ability to receive validation on a topic or a new direction and theory. I compare the social search aspect of Twitter like attending a social event at a conference or seminar. I am able to engage as much or as little in the conversation as I want, and I am bound to pick  a good tip or resource just from listening in. Obviously the folks at Google seem to think there is something unique about this since they have started including Twitter feeds as a part of the Google searching experience.

I haven’t thrown Google out the window but I continued to be surprised and delighted at the number of professional communities on Twitter.  In my case, my work in ed tech spans k12, higher education and eLearning communities. I no longer need to wait 8-12 months to read about a new innovative teaching method in a  journal because we are able to report and share our experiences immediately.  In the case of education, I argue this allows us to innovate more rapidly since we are able to accelerate the publication process and avoid long peer-review processes, that while important, can take away from the timeliness that is essential.  I am pretty confident other professional fields are experiencing the same thing. But I am digressing and should pick up on this riff for a future posting.

So friends, fret not if you are Google fan, or even  if you are Google.  There is a something for everyone and Browsy brings us the ability to Twoogle (but of course!). So now can have the best of your aggregated data and social searching worlds in one web interface.  Thank goodness.

Updated– Twitter v. Google Search: A Superbowl Postscript