The Bad Buzz about Buzz

by on Feb.10, 2010, under general

I haven’t had the chance to play with Google Buzz yet. I’m usually an ultra-early-adopter, but I’ve been too swamped with work these last few days to do so.

But frankly, after reading the panicked privacy reactions from early adopters, I’m pretty glad I didn’t.

Email address publishing? Autofollowing? “Terrifyingly accurate” Android location awareness publishing and posting photos from cellphones that were never before uploaded?

And everything’s opt-out?

It’s like Google carefully studied every complaint, real or imagined, about the privacy practices of Facebook, Twitter, etc…and then rolled all the rollicking horrors into one service.

No, thanks.

edit: Grimmelmann agrees.

3 comments for this entry:
  1. Matt Cadwallader

    Thing is – I was worried about Facebook’s privacy thing because I’ve always considered it a personal network. That is, it is where I connect with IRL friends. I see Buzz more like twitter or Friendfeed, where everything is assumed to be public and I can connect with just about anyone in the world.

    The location option on my Droid is very prominent, so I’m not too worried about posting when I don’t want to.

    And really, with spam filters as they are today, email address posting isn’t as scary to me anymore. I already have a public email address posted on my website, so why not on Buzz? I’ve never considered email some sort of safe haven where only those I know can contact me. I already have a private email address for that kind of stuff.

    All that being said, the photo thing is strange and sounds like a glitch. Still, I’ll have to be very careful with mobile Buzz until that gets sorted.

  2. chris

    Matt –

    As I said, I’ll have to give it a shot, and see how it works out. You’re right that Facebook is different from Twitter is different from LinkedIn. In fact, one of the things I’ve always wanted was a collection of contacts that was less personal than Facebook (where I talk with people with whom I am close) and more personal than LinkedIn (which is painfully formal).

    Perhaps Google Buzz could fill that gap. Thing is, I’m not so sure that’s what GOOGLE intends it to do, and I’m troubled in general by designs that run against the expectations of users.

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