[3-8-10: It's been 24 days since I looked in my Google Buzz folder. Gosh, I hope I'm not trending.]
So with the quick start out of the gate, Google Buzz was the darling of the media, the interactive media anyway, as soon as it appeared like a folder within our G-Mail accounts. Less than revolutionary, Buzz felt to me like yet another tool to broadcast small text bursts into the "statusphere" and [oh boy!] you could connect it to your Twitter ™ and Picassa ™ accounts. Not so revolutionary in my mind.
But for many folks it was like a chance to start fresh.
You know all those people you follow on Twitter. And all those followers you've conned over the last year or month? Well, now they are a pain. They are creating too much noise on Twitter. And the Buzz-o-fiends were praising Buzz for it's simplicity, and only adding people we "really" wanted to have our connection with.
Well, that's a problem with your account management and not the tool. Don't you think your Buzz will become just as FILLED with spammers and scammers as your Twitter stream? Or is Google going to do some spam cleansing trick and keep the creeps out?
If you believe Auto-Anything is going to save your social media stream from the MLM, teeth whitening, 1m follower scammers then you may still be a little wet behind the tweets. Perhaps you want to use something as radical as TrueTwit, the dumbass service that DMs you back letting you know your Tweet did not reach it's target and will not reach it's target until you confirm you are not a Tweetspammer. Forget that. UnFollow!
So the only "official" problem with Buzz came in the form of a privacy breach. Or perhaps a slip. Depending on how you want to position it. There were two lines of thought:
1. Google already connects, searches, records, stores and indexes everything about you, you might as well live with that idea and keep your content clean. (This is my position. On the web forget about privacy. If you think you have some, check with EFF, they will get you up to speed real quick.)
2. Oh my gosh! Google is connecting our accounts without our permission. We're all opted-IN rather than opted-OUT by default. (These were the arrows slung at Buzz and Google with some velocity soon after launch.)
What happened next was powerful and interesting.
1. Google made immediate changes to their policy. They posted the information and engaged with the conversations about privacy.
2. Google used the power of their system, ownership of the kingdom of data, and influence on just about everyone but the Chinese government to tamp down the anti-Buzz about Buzz.
Here's a chart that captures the trending discussion.
From FastCompany.com article: Infographic: How Google Quashed Privacy Concerns Over Google Buzz
So now, I've been 21 days without opening my Buzz folder. Have I missed anything important? Dont' know. Is Buzz an essential tool in my toolkit. Not exactly.
What I have done is purge a huge number of twitter followers and followees using a tool called MangeTwitter.com. And while the damage to my flock has taken place it's not where near the 1-for-1 drop I was expecting.
Makes me think of a JC Superstar song, "What's the buzz, tell me what's a happening."
A few tasty posts on buzz and tweets: