Buzz Is Not A Whisperer

Google Buzz is calling...an opportunity to make a call?

I'm still missing some pieces from the Google Buzz puzzle and I haven't got that much time to devote to it right now, possibly that's one flaw inherent in it's launch. Buzz wasn't exactly welcome in my life but I kept an open mind and clear head and now have a few plugged in thoughts about it.

In a Buzz post, I think Sheryl Breuker (The Gabby Geek) of Stardust Global Ventures, brought up an important point regarding following and that this launch could be an opportunity from the outset. A window in which we can choose who to follow, be followed by and finding new people. In my mind we have the option to make a judgment call, a chance to decide if we want our scope to be narrow or wide and for professional or personal use or both. This new connection could also be a good platform to scale up or down our online social networking if we choose.

To that end I can also see how this could end up appealing more to the business, enterprise and eventually the public sectors and subsequently more appropriate for professional and business use. It may compete just as much with LinkedIn as Facebook and Twitter. If that is the case, as an individual, it might be better to start out slowly and not poison the well. Many people have started using social web sites without thinking of the consequences and paid a price when potential clients, employers and recruiters started using these sites as research tools. The lack of real knowledge about what has happened with our personal privacy is startling to witness when something new like Buzz comes along.

It's my opinion some of the noise about privacy comes from the usual suspects. They tend to be the same people who belch junk and then wonder why they get trolled and/or hacked. Don't do stupid stuff anywhere, online or off, act responsibly and you stand a good chance of remaining intact. On the other hand, that calls for Google and other keepers of our data, to continually improve the protection of our information and privacy by giving us easy access to controls. Users shouldn't have to search and try to figure Buzz out, it must be more intuitive if they want people of this decade to feel comfortable using it. I'm practiced at figuring these things out and that factor of difficulty has made even me a bit cautious, since I don't have the time to fiddle with it right now. Like everyone else, Buzz was thrust upon me with an existing Gmail account and consequently required some immediate attention to decide what to do about it, if only to figure out how to turn it off should I want to. My personal choice was to devote a little time to it and see what the implications are.

I can't help but wonder what the person thinks who has a Gmail account because they were forced into one by YouTube, someone who is skilled at only (and only cares to be) using Gmail as email or a Blogger user that doesn't really use Gmail, about getting Buzz. Whether it was taken into consideration by Google is a toss of the coin, they either took it as a calculated risk or most likely, didn't think of it at all.

It is a good concept, I admit to being surprised at liking it as much on first impression as I do. I hope it gets better and gets a good response from a responsible audience but it needs interface improvement for privacy and controls as well as interaction. It's an opportunity to review what we want or don't want with our personal online social life and make a choice about making connections or not. I think it will gain traction because it's already caused me to re-discover and find out new things about Gmail...that in itself is a "win" for Google and probably worth their risk, intended or otherwise.

Top left photo: Albuquerque (NM) Toll and Assistance Switchboard Tandem Circuits
Bottom right photo: Sunset Point (Arizona) Communications Towers
JR Snyder Jr copyright 2010