Life with Google Buzz: Week Two


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After a week of living in Google Buzz and reading all of the variant reactions from the Twiteratti and the established voices in the social media sphere good and bad. I finally pulled the plug on the noise.

The amount of hacking I had to perform in order to get my Google Profile and my Buzz working for me was just too much convoluted effort and quite often in vain as Google scrambles daily to try and respond to everyone’s feedback and criticism. I have one avatar that I use everywhere on the web and it’s this Guinness drinking squirrel. It would appear that this malt guzzling rodent is so offensive to Google that is simply can not allow me to use it and repeatedly resets it to the those stupid Google Google O_o. The same thing applies to my real name, I am one of those people who doesn’t like to use his real name on the web. Yet Google Profiles seems to want to force your to divulge your Google user name and your full name. Am I the only person in the world who still thinks it’s ridiculous to stand in the middle on Times Square and shout out your mobile or home phone at the top of your lungs. After spending the last ten years protecting my privacy online, Google destroyed it all overnight without even asking me. Yes it is true that most of the social networks out there will automatically suck in all your contacts form other networks and then allow you to follow them with one click or selectively un-check certain people. However, as engineers do, they eliminated this one key step that allows you to set some control in order to make for a slicker interface.  Now what this also did was tell everyone else in the world who you talk to the most. You can only imagine what this might mean to any one who is even the least bit concerned about their privacy. Imagine what must be going through the mind of a woman who is trying to get away from an abusive partner and after finally starting her life over, get’s this Buzz announcement sees her new friend on the list and suddenly her ex has a list of her 10-20 new friends she emails the most. Sure this might sound like an extreme case and someone trying to hide out probably shouldn’t be on social networks… Ah but remember that Google  Buzz is part of your email, it’s not some service you signed up for to poke your friends, swap photos and grow asparagus for your small online allotment. Google Buzz is integrated directly into your GMail, you know, that place you go to find out about your new job applications, your monthly bill announcements, and all of your more intimate communications. How it seemed like a good idea to overlook this most basic element of personal privacy is beyond me.

This Morning I Posted this Buzz: (For the record, I have yet to get any buzz from this.)

Without trying to be insulting to some very interesting people, I am unfollowing a lot of you from Buzz but will continue to enjoys your stuff on Twitter and in Reader. Until Buzz becomes more mature, I need to regain control of my inbox.

Also if you want to find replies and new stuff from your contact search this from your search bar: ==> label:buzz is:unread

Privacy issues aside, once you get down to a level to social networking nudity you are relatively comfortable with one more problem lies ahead:  The Twiterratti. You might be tempted to follow the Robert Scobles, Leo Laportes and Kevin Roses in order to get all the latest goodness. But what is going to happen is that Higgs Boson style implosion will mean that not only will you be force fed their entire  Twitter, FriendFeed, Flickr, Google Reader, Blog, Digg and Delicious link feeds but you will also get all of the added bonuses of every single one of their comments and likes. And every time some one else likes or adds their post, it will auto-magically get promoted to the top of your Buzz feed and that really good  article your real friend posted an hour ago will now be buried so far down in your feed you will never see it again. Sucks Huh! So instead of turning Buzz Off completely, I merely removed all of  the Twitterrati from my Buzz list and can now see all of those super duper links to @Shultzer’s LG Xenon Java apps. I’m keeping the Twitterratti in my Twitter and Google Reader so I can still get to all of their life streams and links.

So I’m slowly learning not to cross my social streams. Sure it means that I have to a little more fractal in my online reading. But to tell you the truth, it’s much better for my InterWeb2.0 acquired A.D.D.

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2 comments

  1. Who could blame you for quitting Buzz ?! What a mess. If you're interested I'm just starting on Facebook and have been on twitter for a while as murphymac. Love the Guinness squirrel.

  2. Murphy,

    I haven't completely abandoned Buzz, but I have seriously limited it's potential to take over my day. I'm still following “Real World” friends and a few amount of online ones. I've always used Facebook solely for family and friends I have met buy I still don't trust it with any vital information. Facebook will never be my address book or contact list, anything I put into it always exist elsewhere. There privacy record has been appalling over the years and having done a little development on the platform, I can assure you that illusion you may have of your privacy with Facebook is even thinner than you expect it to be.

    I checked out MurphyMac.com, pretty cool site and I will make a point of checking the out the screencasts soon too. For now I'm adding you to my Twitter Technorati list.