Google co-founder Sergey Brin on Buzz

Immediately following the Buzz announcement, Larry Magid chats with Google co-founder Sergey Brin about the new service.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin (shown at a previous event) Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the team behind Buzz, Google's service that aims to organize your online social life, started out small. But as they tested the system within Google, they "found it so useful for internal communications that we became really motivated to bring this to the world," he said in an interview recorded immediately following Google's announcement Tuesday. (Scroll down to listen to the interview.)

For him, one of the most useful features is the ability "to start typing a thought right off the bat without having to worry about disrupting other people...I can throw something out there and the people who are most interested and most relevant tend to pay attention and reply."

Signal to noise
Brin said that Google's "recommendation systems will tend to surface (posts) to the most relevant people so that I'm no longer acting as a human router of sorts but the back end does that heavy lifting." He added, "Extracting signal from noise is one of our key competencies."

Safety and privacy
In response to a question, he said that the company is concerned about privacy and security because their mobile service "gives you the ability to share where you are." But, he said, it's up to individuals to decide whether to share your location and your posts," adding "people need to be thoughtful with whom they share and with what purpose."

On the other hand, Brin said that "it can really enhance safety and security," suggesting that parents could give a phone to one of their kids "and if something happens to them you can know where they are at the time." In response to a question on whether Google will provide advice on how to use this service safely, he responded, "so far it's clear that the benefits outweigh the cost and as we see people use it more broadly I'm sure we can come up with a set of guidelines."

Disclosure: Google is one of several companies that provide support for ConnectSafely.org, a nonprofit Internet safety organization I help operate.

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About the author

Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safety advocate. He's been writing and speaking about Internet safety since he wrote Internet safety guide "Child Safety on the Information Highway" in 1994. He is co-director of ConnectSafely.org, founder of SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com, and a board member of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Larry's technology analysis and commentary can be heard on CBS News and CBS affiliates, and read on CBSNews.com. He also writes a personal-tech column for the San Jose Mercury News. You can e-mail Larry.

 

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