Things To Watch For If--And This Is a Big If--Google Buzz Catches On

1) Will bloggers start to use Buzz as a lab for post ideas, testing them out on a trusted audience before opening them up to ideological opponents, trolls and the Internet at large? At the moment, some of this function is being served by email and Twitter, but both have their limitations. Email requires you to know in advance which of your contacts might have helpful input; Twitter, obviously, makes it difficult to elaborate. I always thought this was an underutilized side function of Google Reader, my preferred Google toy, but the use of stand-alone notes hasn’t really taken off. In my limited experience, people haven’t been posting things directly to Buzz either — unless they’re about Buzz — so this would probably look more like long comment threads on tweets.

2) Will bloggers who get tired of the slings and arrows of an unruly and unilluminating commenter community retreat by posting their thoughts in Buzz?* I suspect that the bloggers most likely to do this are those a) with day jobs/other careers and/or b) who write for a specialized audience. In an extreme scenario, this could lead to a bifurcation of the blogosphere, with professional bloggers and bloggers with extremely small/negligible audiences using public platforms, and those with regular but not-overwhelming audiences on Buzz.

I don’t have any confidence that either of these would come to pass. But it would be interesting if they did!

*I know that Buzz makes it tricky for your feed to be private and your followers controlled, but it’s not impossible, and it seems to me to be the sort of thing someone with a not-huge email contact list could perform as a regular maintenance task quite easily. I won’t pretend to be an expert on the privacy issues here, and I’d rather not go into them in depth at the moment — I’ll just admit that I could easily be wrong about this and leave it at that.