Google Buzz Falls Flat for Small Business

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Forget Web search, document sharing or even cellphones. Google ( NFLX) has cornered the market on hype. Case in point: Google Buzz.

Earlier this month, Google released a social networking application called Google Buzz that aims to compete with the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Google Buzz adds so-called microblogging -- the ability to post short phrases, images and digital information -- to its e-mail service. Small-business owners have been wondering how they could use the tool to promote their products.

During the past few weeks, I've given Google Buzz the small business once over. Here is what you need to know:

What you get: For small businesses, there's not much to buzz about with Buzz.

To be fair, Google addresses many of the problems one faces with social networking. Unlike Twitter, there's no character limit for posts. There's none of the dopey FarmVille spam or marketing glop that clogs Facebook. There's no complex network setup like you would find on LinkedIn. And video and image support is best in class. Also, the code updates all its content in real time. No reloading pages or updating links. In Buzz, you post it and everyone sees it. It's a staggering technical achievement.

At first, Google Buzz seemed to have hit a home run by making it easy for small groups to collaborate. But in a little over two weeks of testing, I could not find a good use for it.

What you don't get: Buzz is not controllable enough for business communication.

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