After spending a day with Buzz ourselves, we came across a few tips and tricks worth sharing with you, our readers. Below you'll find four Buzz hacks, as we'll call them, which help you do more with Buzz... or less, as the case may be.
1. For Those Wanting Access to Buzz
Buzz officially launched yesterday, but you may not see it yet in your inbox. According to the google.com/buzz page, the company is "still rolling out Buzz to everyone" so "check back soon." Unlike with the launch of Gmail and Google Wave, there are no invites to beg for this time. Instead, you'll just have to be patient and wait. Oh, what's that? Patience is not a virtue? OK then. Check out these (unconfirmed) hacks that may help. The first is a tip we saw posted on Twitter. According to some, visiting Google Buzz from its mobile site on your phone (go to m.google.com then click on Buzz) will "switch it on" for you.
A couple of other more detailed hacks we came across include:
The Google Chrome Hack
- Create a shortcut to Google Chrome on your desktop, right-click on it, select Properties, and then paste this after everything in the 'Target' field:
- -user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.0.1; en-us; Droid Build/ESD56) AppleWebKit/530.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/530.17"
- Then go to m.google.com and click on Buzz. This will, however, make all pages Chrome loads behave as if you're browsing them from a Motorola Droid, so it's advisable to make another desktop shortcut with user-agent="" to reset everything.
The Firefox Hack
- Fire up Firefox.
- Install the "User Agent Switcher" add-on and restart Firefox.
- Go to Tools > Default User Agent > iPhone 3.0.
- Visit http://google.com/buzz and start buzzing!
- Firefox will ask you if you want to share your location with the website. Say yes!
- When you're done buzzing, switch back the user agent to default.
Note: since we all have Buzz ourselves, we couldn't test these hacks for you. Please let us know in the comments if they worked!
2. For the Inbox Purists
One of the complaints about Buzz is that it automatically adds Buzz to your inbox - yes, your actual inbox where you're already overwhelmed with traditional email messages. This occurs despite the fact that Buzz has its own section in Gmail, accessible via a link on the left. We're not sure if the Google guys haven't yet heard of "information overload" or if they just don't care, but some of us would rather keep our Buzz elsewhere.
Getting Buzz out of your inbox is simple, though, thanks to Gmail's filtering mechanism. Here's how to use it.
Remove Buzz from Your Inbox
- Click "create a filter" next to the search box at the top.
- Then, in the Has words text box in the filter tool, enter
- Click the Next Step button; Gmail will warn you that Filter searches containing
labeland a few other search operators won't work, but don't worry--our testing shows that for Buzz messages, they seem to work just fine, so click OK and move on.
- Finally, tick the checkbox next to Skip the Inbox (Archive it) and the click the Create Filter button.
3. For the Developers
Since Google launched Buzz APIs along with the Buzz service, developers already have access to the tools needed to syndicate Buzz updates, connect sites to Buzz, and soon, read/write support will be offered, too.
All the info on the APIs is hosted at Google Code and Buzz resources are centralized at code.google.com/apis/buzz.
But for some extra fun, the Yahoo! Developer Network Blog announced they created an Open Table for users of YQL. The table is now live on GitHub: github.com/yql/google/google.buzz.updates.xml. Developers who want to use it in their queries can do so like this:
4. For the Buzz "Haters"
Google Buzz not your thing? You can switch it off altogether, if you would like. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of your inbox and look for the link underneath your quota usage informational message. Click "turn off buzz" to be bothered no more.