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February 14, 2010


Google Buzz
Last week when Google released its new social networking feature, Google Buzz, to compete with other popular social networking and micro-blogging services like Twitter and Facebook, the media giant set up their new social network to automatically enroll tens of millions of Gmail users. While having millions of new users instantly is a competitive advantage the only online giants like Google can enjoy, the company's unilateral actions have resulted in a large and vocal Google Buzz backlash.

As angry users have noted online, automatically opting-in people and intimately connecting them with their email contacts oversteps the social boundaries that many users have worked to create online. Today people have multiple identities online that they manage through distinct avenues--they know that they must carefully craft each of their online reputations depending on what social network or online community they are a part of. For example, many people use facebook to connect with their friends and LinkedIn for establish relationships with professional contacts. When Google Buzz stepped in and suddenly, without much of a pre-buzz, intimately connected users with their distant and disorganized email contacts, users responded by giving Google buzz a reputation management problem that they’ve been scrambling to correct ever since.

What’s to be Learned from Google’s Buzz Backlash?

As internet companies continue to provide powerful technology and communication solutions for businesses and individuals, they must keep a balance between meeting their users needs and their needs. It’s also very important, as Google’s users noted, to understand the social distinctions between different types of media--social bookmarks are clearly less intimate than social networks, and social networks far less intimate than email. Each type of media has different social norms that companies must recognize and attempt to blend slowly. Coercing millions upon millions of users to allow their private information to be used by a new technology that breaks the current online social norms is bound to result in a backlash bigger than your new products buzz.

How To Prevent Buzz Backlash

If you want to prevent buzz backlash or are looking to manage your own online crisis, LookupPage can be one of the best places to find highly effective online reputation management strategies, brand reputation tips and crisis management tools.

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