I don’t normally write about something I haven’t even tried yet, but I keep looking at that little Google Buzz icon, every time I login to my Gmail account. It keep tempting me to click on it, but after hearing some of the not so good buzz, I still have not clicked on that little icon.
Here are just a few of the stories I have ran across:
March 26 (Bloomberg) — Federal antitrust authorities should investigate whether Google Inc.’s Buzz social-network service has compromised users’ privacy, U.S. lawmakers said in a letter.
The Federal Trade Commission also should scrutinize how Google’s proposed purchase of AdMob, a network of mobile advertising sites, might affect “incentives to offer robust consumer privacy protections,” 10 members of Congress and the Virgin Islands’ delegate said in a letter yesterday to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
Google Buzz could “disclose information about a consumer’s medical history, political views, and whereabouts,” lawmakers led by Representatives Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, and John Barrow, a Georgia Democrat, wrote.
So I’m not sure Buzz won’t tell everyone in the world about my email, and who I write to.
(watchingthewatchers.org) It is annoying to have many Buzz updates appearing as emails to the Gmail account. If you want to turn off or remove the Google Buzz from Gmail then there is no way to do it easily. The only way to maintain one’s sanity is to avoid creating any buzz items whatsoever. Others may see buzz items that your applications such as Twitter or Facebook create. However if you decide to create buzz items within Google Buzz directly, then at that point you will be polluting your Gmail stream. That price is too high for me and perhaps for many others.
And after reading the above, it seemed Buzz is going to be hard to turn off, if I click on that little icon, and start looking to see if it will help me. I mean quotes like “maintain one’s sanity” or “polluting your Gmail stream” just don’t sound good to me. But keep reading, this next excerpt tells some of the reasoning as to why Google thrust Buzz upon us unsuspecting citizens.
(washingtonpost.com) When Google Buzz launched in February this year, the product wasn’t ready. There were basic privacy issues that still needed to be hammered out (and were quickly addressed by Google), but beyond that Google Buzz simply did not work smoothly enough to force feed it to 175 million Gmail users without any warning. (MG covered some of the usability issues last week). So why was Google Buzz pushed out the door too soon? I have three interrelated theories: Google still wants to buy Twitter, and putting Buzz into Gmail might be enough of a threat to bring Twitter back to the table.
So Google would like to buy Twitter, I like Twitter the way it is, of course I like Google Apps and Gmail. And would they change the name to Gwitter, if they bought them?
(Stephen Shankland of cnet) Buzz backfired for me for one simple reason. I wanted a mechanism for social networking with my personal contacts, but Facebook is where those ties are active.
Although I have plenty of close contacts in my Gmail address book, not all of them use Gmail and therefore Buzz. Buzz has a good framework but the wrong faces.
Of course, Google infamously pre-populated Buzz with everybody’s follower lists. Leaving the privacy repercussions aside, that move did serve to jump-start Buzz so trying it wasn’t like talking to yourself in an empty room, as with Wave.
And even more on the privacy issues, which I understand Google has been ironing out, but still not to encouraging enough to get me to click on the little Buzz icon in my Gmail box.
I did try Google Wave when it came out, but so far have only had luck using it with people I’m working on projects with. Like Stephen said above, “it was like talking to yourself in an empty room”. But getting back to Buzz, I’m going to wait a little longer, and I hope to here some good things about Buzz. Then maybe I will go for it, and give Buzz a chance.
Please, comment and tell me your experiences with Google Buzz, and if enough of you have had good ones with it, maybe I will come out of the Google Closet and give it a go.
Until next time,
PS. maybe I shouldn’t post so late at night, my fear of Icons comes out 🙂