Google Buzz Doesnt Really
Im trying out Google Buzz. While there are bits about it that I think are great (like not having a 140 character limit, something Ive never gotten used to) I cant help but think its the second of Googles solutions looking for a problem in the last 12 months (the first being Wave).
I can see, I think, what Googles trying to do. They are trying to break the email paradigm. Google are sick of interfaces and ways of computing that use the term Inbox and they are jiggling around other concepts like Waves and Buzzes trying to find how to dispense with email in general.
This was sortof picked up by the news media when Wave came out, but not really. News sites ran articles saying it was a new type of email or an email killer, but I dont think those sites had insight they were just confused and stumbled on half a right answer. I dont think Buzz a cross between Twitter in general, and Facebooks status update feature, is the email killer and I think Google will have to keep searching.
Im concerned about some of the privacy issues, when you sign up to Buzz it immediately links you to people and services based on your existing use of those services and communication patterns with those people, in some cases automatically. I think itd be vastly superior to ask me if I communicate with those people regularly because I want to, or because I have to. Theres been talk on Twitter about how Buzz is publishing peoples street addresses because Googles Latitude product hooks into Buzz and people may not have realised. Im certainly going to be watching the entire interoperation of Buzz and other parts of my online presence (including that this blog post will wind up in Buzz automatically) because Im uncomfortable with its level of automation.
The worst privacy concern? That if you upload photos it ads them to your Picasa account (wait for it), and if you dont have a Picasa account it creates one for you. I dont like the idea of a service creating accounts on other services for me, whats wrong with a popup complaining that you havent got a Picasa account? Can we expect antitrust action soon when Flickr accounts arent connected to Buzz? It all seems a bit too integrated for my comfort, and I think people will get annoyed soon.
Try it out, add me if you like (elomis at gmail dot com), but dont expe