Bye Bye Google Buzz On November 14th 2011

Bye Bye Google Buzz On November 14th 2011 | 40Tech

Google Buzz is going the way of the dinosaur — or maybe the Dodo is a better analogy. Either way, as of November 14th, the hopeful attempt at getting in on some of that Twitter juice will simply fade away. Google’s on to bigger things now — like trying to get a piece of that Facebook pie, with some Twitter a la mode. Sounds nummy, right? Or maybe I’m just getting hungry…

Google officially announced the retirement of the Gmail-integrated Buzz on October 14th, but some of you may only now be getting the little pop-up notification in your Inbox. I got mine yesterday and I realized that, in a weird way, I’ll miss the service. It seemed like it had so much potential, at first. We even wrote about why we figured it wouldn’t flop – oh, wait… that was Wave. What can I say… we’re optimists. In any case, the integration of Buzz was handled badly, the “bubble up” experience was annoying (to say the least), and the UI design was the former and most unfortunate Google Ugly.

Thankfully, Google+ not only cannibalized some of the best that Buzz had to offer, but it also was designed with the understanding that minimalist can be pretty, too. The jury’s still out on whether or not Google’s latest social offering will see long-term development, but the Magic 8 Ball –  and my never-ending, aforementioned optimism — tells me that chances are good…

So, anyway… If you want to view or keep your Google Buzz content, you can still see it on your Google Profile, and you can download it via Google Takeout –  a very handy service, I might add.

On a final note, does anyone else find it funny that the “Google Buzz is going away…” post in the Big G’s Gmail Help pages can be actually shared on Buzz — and that there is a button to open up Sidewiki as well? Just me…?

Say your farewells to Buzz in the comments.

Easily Back Up Your Google+, Picasa Data With Takeout

Easily Back Up Your Google+, Picasa Data With Takeout | 40Tech

If you have invested yourself into Google+ at all, you will be happy to know that, whether you stick with the service or not, there is an easy way to get a copy of all of your data (profile, contacts and circles, your stream, Picasa pics — even Buzz and +1s). It’s called Takeout, and it’s built right into your Google+ settings as a part of Google’s “Data Liberation Front.”

There’s no tricks to it, no caveats, and no amount of hacking genius required. It’s all a matter of a few points and clicks and a bit of hard drive space. Here’s how to do it:

There are two ways to get started:

1.) Head to this link to visit the Takeout page directly

2.) Go to Google+ settings (little gear, top right corner of the page) and select Data Liberation

If you choose the second option, you can either click on one of the services to jump to the services selection page, or can click the “Download your data” button to get to the Takeout page. Once on the Takeout page, you can click create archive to backup everything. You will find the archive available under the Downloads page, available by a three-button menu at the top of the page.

Google+ Data Liberation | Takeout | 40Tech

If you wish to be selective about what data you want to back up, then you want the Choose Services page (via step two or the three-button menu). Here, you can select one or all of the Google+ related services mentioned previously and create a custom archive. I suggest you head here, anyway, as this section of Takeout shows you not only the size of the archive, but the percentage each service takes up in the total download (this information is mostly available on the Downloads page as well).

Use Google Takeout to Backup Your Google+, Picasa Data | 40Tech

The services will download as the following file-types:

  • Picasa Web Albums photos: .zip
  • Profile Data: .json
  • Stream data: .zip
  • Buzz data: .zip
  • Circles and Contacts: .zip

Photos are organized by Album or Post Date, and Contacts are individual .vcf files that are organized by Circles. Your Stream data is delivered as a functional, standalone website complete with comments, images, as well as anything you have reshared.

Overall, I find Takeout to be fairly impressive as a means of manual backups or to walk away from Google+ with all of your data. The compression rate is pretty good, as well — Over 3,000 pictures in Picasa (I imported my Facebook photos, and have uploaded many more taken with my iPhone) and the total download size was under 500mb. Not bad at all!

Google Takeout | Download, Back Up Google+ Data | 40Tech

Note: There was once small inconsistency in file size information for my photos. The Choose Sevices section said the download would be 778MB, while the downloads page said 449.8MB.

Have you used Takeout? What are your impressions? What do you think of Google’s Data Liberation initiative?

Salmon Protocol May Be the Future of the Web

 Salmon Protocol May Be the Future of the Web | 40tech

About a month or so ago, I came across a few articles about Salmon Protocol – an open protocol that allows for communication beyond the confines of social networks; as well as a centralized conversation that brings comments from everywhere home to their source. Imagine, if you will, being able to communicate with people on Facebook from Twitter, or on MySpace from Facebook – and without having to join multiple networks. Wouldn’t that just make life peachy? Or maybe you are a blogger and would like to know about conversations that have sprung up around your post on the various social networks out there. Salmon Protocol plans to take you there – and may well be the future of the web.

READ MORE

How Google Can Save Buzz and Wave From Irrelevancy

Google buzzwave We have one question for you right off the bat- how many of you are still using Google Wave or Google Buzz?  Have both services flopped?  Back in August, we wrote about 3 reasons why Wave wouldn’t flop.  Has it?  What about Buzz?

My personal take on Buzz and Wave is that  Buzz is a flop, and is useless in its current form, while Wave is useful, but for limited purposes.  Read on, though, for how Google can save both services from irrelevancy.

READ MORE

5 Suggestions to Improve Google Buzz

imageGoogle Buzz is Google’s latest foray into social media.  Buzz seems to borrow some elements from Twitter, a few from Facebook, and even some from FriendFeed.  Like most new products, though, Buzz isn’t perfect.  Many users have expressed their opinions on ways to improve Buzz, and we’re no different.  Here are 5 ways we think Google can improve Buzz.

READ MORE