Google Buzz does not help me

Google Buzz is the Web’s latest Twitter-like tool, launched on February 9th. At this point in the game, it’s not the features of these sites (among them being Facebook and FriendFeed) that developers are focusing on, but the built-in user base; Megan Berry on HuffPost agrees. Buzz is just adding to all the loud Web chatter, making it hard to find relevant content. Ironically, I’m adding to the chatter, but only because people have asked me to! Here are my top (admittedly geeky and childish) reasons why Buzz is lame.

  1. It’s basically a dumbed-down Google Reader (bundles), integrated into Gmail. Quite literally.
  2. Google monopoly. I’ll likely expand this idea into its own post, but I learned my lesson back in the days of Yahoo!’s dominance not to put all my eggs in one basket. I just don’t feel comfortable  relying on one Google account to do everything I need. What if Google disables my account for whatever reason?
  3. Information Undertow (Dada song on Grooveshark). Every social media web app has what I’ll call a content frequency (CF). Probably the first thing you’ll notice about Google Buzz is its high level of CF, causing most of us to cut back on updates. Twitter’s CF is manageable since they’re always less than 140 characters. There is no limit to the length of a Buzz (no pun intended). Plus, there’s no easy way to filter certain users out of your Buzz feed (unlike Twitter lists and FriendFeed lists).
  4. No beta. Unlike Wave, Buzz didn’t have much of a test phase (it was only among company employees & associates) before launching. Google is having to make a lot of changes to Buzz now, especially after a lot of privacy complaints. (BTW, let me know if you want a Wave invite. It’s quite a product.)

Keeping this entry short as it’s basically just a hot topic filler before Tuesday’s regular entry (would still like more votes on which topic to pick). Here are a few interesting articles about Buzz:

My friend Brett Milner just posted a positive review about future possibilities of Buzz on the Google Apps API – very different angle than what I’ve taken. I’ll keep my devil’s advocate stance; most of my points above are refutable, but I honestly don’t plan on using Buzz for a while until we all have a better idea of how it’s being used. Have you found any good uses for Buzz?

Forgot to mention http://a.wholelottanothing.org/2010/02/my-personal-feedback-loops.html as one of my recommended links

  • Thanks for the reference. Apart from within-an-organization possibilities, I'm curious to try it out on a personal level. If it can provide nothing more than a push to/pull from connection to FB & Twitter for the purposes of aggregation under one place, that's all I'd ever need from it. Of course the limitation of what can fit in Buzz won't always fit in Twitter could be a problem. Or a useful way to enforce minimalism :)

    But I probably won't be trying it until it's on Google Apps. I have my domain there, and I for one will wait patiently till Google thinks it's ready for deployment. My gmail account just forwards to me there, and I'd rather not have to reverse all of that and start using a different login.

    “Information Undertow” What an awesome phrase!

  • I like your “To infinity and beyond!” Yeah, I might use private Buzz alongside FriendFeed to compare their features, but I'm quite happy with FF for now.