Posted by John Costigan, Software Engineer
Now that people have been playing with Google Buzz in Gmail for a week and we've rolled out the improvements we announced here over the weekend, we wanted to let you know about some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Buzz. Here are five tips to get you started:
1. Format your posts. When posting in Buzz, you can format text just as you can in Gmail chat: *bold*, _italics_, or -strikethrough- all work.
2. View a summary of your own Buzz activity at www.google.com/dashboard. The Google Dashboard provides a private, consolidated summary of the data associated with your Google account, as well as direct links to control your personal settings. As of today, Buzz has its own section on the Dashboard, so you can see how many people you're following, how many people are following you, and information about your recent posts, comments, and likes. You can also access your Buzz settings right there on the page.
3. Use an @reply to send a post directly to someone's inbox. If you want to make sure one of your friends sees a certain Buzz post, you can direct it to their inbox with an @reply. Type the "@" symbol followed by the first few letters of their name, and select their email address from the list. Only you'll see their Gmail address — other people will just see their name.
4. Try keyboard shortcuts to fly through buzz. Turn on keyboard shortcuts from Settings, and use "j" or "n" to scroll down the buzz tab, "k" or "p" to go back up, "r" to comment (same shortcut as reply in Gmail), and "shift + l" to like.
5. Mute posts so they don't get sent to your inbox. Comments on your posts and comments after your comments send buzz directly to your inbox. If you don't want a lively conversation to keep appearing in your inbox as people reply to it, you can mute it. Click the arrow in the corner of a buzz post and select "Mute this post."
If you have keyboard shortcuts turned on, you can also mute buzz that appears in your inbox by hitting the "m" key while you're reading it.
Check out our Help Center for more tips and answers to your common questions, and stay tuned for more here as well.