Another service named 'Buzz?' What gives?

Today, AT&T Interactive launched Buzz.com in beta, the company's answer to entertainment search and recommendation site Yelp. If you think you've seen it before...well, you haven't -- not this, anyway.

The word "Buzz" was employed liberally throughout the 1990's to describe successful alternative rock groups. Pretty much any non-pop band that sold 500,000 albums in that era was classified as a "buzz bin" artist by MTV. By 2004, it was worn out.

However, the term happens to be quite useful in describing a topic's presence in social media, and therefore it has been taken as the name of several also-ran social media services in the post-2.0 Web.

In 2008, Yahoo launched a service called Buzz which was a social news sharing service in the vein of Digg. Earlier this year, Google debuted the microblog Buzz which is a service in the vein of Twitter.

"We recognize that people are already having conversations online about the best places to go and businesses to call. Buzz.com makes it even easier to discover the businesses your friends recommend," said Charles Hornberger, the site's General Manager. "Although the site is still in beta, we're very excited to open it up to anyone who wants to see how we're approaching 'social search' for the local marketplace."

AT&T's Buzz.com

The service is based on local listings from AT&T's YellowPages.com and includes more than 21 million business listings which can be accessed either from Buzz.com or the mobile version m.buzz.com. Business listings include the usual phone book style information, the ability for users to "favorite" them, or place 160-character comments in a field called "I like this place because..."

Right now, the trait that differentiates Buzz.com from other social search services is the system of asking and answering questions. If you want to know what your friends recommend in a certain location, you just fill out the "What's your favorite ____" field, and the question is then posted on your Facebook feed for your friends to answer.

Buzz.com is accepting beta testers now.

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