I first heard about Google Buzz yesterday. The timing seemed perfect, because I'm leading a discussion this weekend with The News-Gazette's Editor and Publisher John Foreman  at a journalism conference about innovation. I'll probably talk about social media; I'm passionate about it. People are always wondering about "the next big thing," and I have a feeling this might be it.
So when I logged into my Gmail account this morning and saw Google's invitation to let me try Google Buzz, I couldn't resist.
I've long had a Google profile, so it seems like a natural progression to start following people and creating status updates that feel like tweets. (And while the Web has changed a lot during my lifetime, my Google profile reminds me of my original Yahoo! profile my friends could access while I was in junior high while we were using Yahoo's instant messenger. The questions are similar.)
I think it's important to try new things with The News-Gazette's social media presence.So online editor Mike Howie and I signed The News-Gazette up for a Gmail account  so it can communicate with others using Google Buzz. (If you're interested, you can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org .)
I'm actually a little embarassed I hadn't thought of creating The N-G a Google profile before. After all, we have a Twitter page , a Facebook page  and a YouTube channel , which we're planning to use more. We love chatting with people through these media about what's happening around town and what's important to them.
Now, we're at least trying Buzz to see how it fits with our other social media channels. It's obviously still very new. When we joined Twitter, it had been around for quite some time, and I'd been using it a while. I had some idea of the rules and expectations associated with Twitter. With Buzz, I have no clue.
I do like that you can post links and photos straight into the update box in Buzz - similar to using Tweetdeck on my personal Mac. And I like that it's integrated with Gmail, Picasa and Google Reader. (I use the latter service a lot to keep track of local and some non-local blogs.)
I found, through my initial searches, that some people from the area are on Buzz that we don't usually correspond with on Twitter. Others are our Twitter regulars. I'm hoping, though, that we'll be able to connect with more residents in an effort to keep up with what's happening in the communities we cover. We'll see how it goes.