Google Expands In Two More Directions: Social Media and Broadband Service

Google made two business moves this week that are causing a bit of a stir. The first was the announced rollout of Buzz, its major foray into the social media world.

Buzz allows the 176 million users of its Gmail service to "Share updates, photos, videos, and more," says Google. A New York Times article says that, "Buzz comes with a built-in circle of friends, a group that is automatically selected by Google based on the people that a user communicates with most frequently in Gmail and on Google’s chat service."

In other words, on top of keeping track of your searches, Google is keeping track of who you send email to as well, and makes the assumption that they are your friends. Big assumption, at least in my regard.

Google also wants "enterprises to embrace Buzz as a business tool" states this report in PCWorld. However, Buzz for the enterprise is not ready yet. It will be "soon" says Google.

One can hardly wait.

Whether Buzz will be a success in the face of Facebook and Twitter and whether business will embrace it remains to be seen.

Google also announced this week that it was going trial ultra-high speed broadband networks throughout the US:

"We're planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We'll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people."

Google is asking for the public and local governments to nominate themselves as a trial site for a network.

Some observers think this broadband initiative by Google is merely a stick with which to beat US government regulators and other network providers with over the slow rollout of ultra-high speed broadband across America, reports ComputerWorld.

Google, they reason, doesn't really want to be a network provider. They believe that Google's endgame is to spur just enough competition to force network providers to upgrade their networks to a 1 gigabit per second standard which will be able to handle the current and especially future data streams that Google helps foster and control.

If it works, I am all for it. If not, then a personal note to Google:

Me, me, please pick me! I'll even use Buzz! I promise.

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