Google: Buzz off!

by admin on February 11, 2010

in General

While I like to think I’m reasonably on top of tech trends I didn’t know about Google Buzz until last evening. (shock horror – I know.) Anyhoo, a quick trawl on the internet showed me that Buzz is:

Our belief is that organizing the social information on the web — finding relevance in the noise — has become a large-scale challenge, one that Google’s experience in organizing information can help solve. We’ve recently launched innovations like real-time search and Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step with the introduction of a new product, Google Buzz.

Google Buzz is a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting. It’s built right into Gmail, so you don’t have to peck out an entirely new set of friends from scratch — it just works. If you think about it, there’s always been a big social network underlying Gmail. Buzz brings this network to the surface by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with the most.

However, it didn’t take me more than 20 minutes of having Buzz plugged into my email to realize: I DON’T WANT THIS SHIT. I may not be alone. Despite the claim to help me: ‘to start conversations about the things you find interesting,’ it does nothing of the sort. Instead, it adds in any ‘stuff’ that people it has decided I am following put into their Buzz (a bit like Twitter) along with any other accounts that Google has linked via their profiles such as Flickr, Twitter, Google Reader, assorted blogs….the list goes on. In other words it is aggregating a pile of stuff and lobbing it over the wall into my GMail.

Now – don’t get me wrong. I like my friends. A lot. But I’m buggered if I need or want to know their EVERY movement on the Internet. I’m pretty sure the same feeling is reciprocated. But it gets worse.

According to Silicon Valley Insider:

The problem is that — by default — the people you follow and the people that follow you are made public to anyone who looks at your profile.

In other words, before you change any settings in Google Buzz, someone could go into your profile and see the people you email and chat with most.

Are you shitting me? Apparently not. In the past I have said that Google pays scant attention to creating sensible privacy policies. With Buzz,  they’ve blown the whole shaky edifice apart.

It seems I may be able to moderate what Buzz exposes. In the last two hours, Google says that 10 more people are following me. I don’t get a choice to accept or reject, which I do with Twitter and Facebook. However, I have found that Buzz can be turned off. Google? I’m outta here.

By the way – if you are a Google Apps for Enterprise user then watch for when Google introduces Buzz to your service. Make sure you REALLY understand what it will and will not do. The last thing you want is for Buzz to effectively mine and expose your internal contacts list and blast that out to the world at large.

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krishnan February 11, 2010 at 8:14 am

In Twitter, you cannot decide to accept like in FB unless you have your tweets protected. Buzz is more like Twitter in this regard. Even here, you can block out people like in Twitter. Plus, you can create groups of contacts and interact only with them. What is annoying is that it auto-follows those contacts with whom you exchange email often.

krishnan February 11, 2010 at 11:14 am

In Twitter, you cannot decide to accept like in FB unless you have your tweets protected. Buzz is more like Twitter in this regard. Even here, you can block out people like in Twitter. Plus, you can create groups of contacts and interact only with them. What is annoying is that it auto-follows those contacts with whom you exchange email often.

Mark Appel | Twinfield February 11, 2010 at 9:43 am

To be honest at this moment I am struggling with understanding Buzz and basically means that I will not use it. But Google build up quite some credits so I promised myself to spend some more time on it. For its unbelievable that they come up with something that they position themselves against Facebook, I expected something more…

Mark Appel Twinfield February 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

To be honest at this moment I am struggling with understanding Buzz and basically means that I will not use it. But Google build up quite some credits so I promised myself to spend some more time on it. For its unbelievable that they come up with something that they position themselves against Facebook, I expected something more…

krishnan February 11, 2010 at 8:14 am

In Twitter, you cannot decide to accept like in FB unless you have your tweets protected. Buzz is more like Twitter in this regard. Even here, you can block out people like in Twitter. Plus, you can create groups of contacts and interact only with them. What is annoying is that it auto-follows those contacts with whom you exchange email often.

leppam February 11, 2010 at 9:43 am

To be honest at this moment I am struggling with understanding Buzz and basically means that I will not use it. But Google build up quite some credits so I promised myself to spend some more time on it. For its unbelievable that they come up with something that they position themselves against Facebook, I expected something more…

Nat Turner February 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm

The sky isn’t falling. Most people do not have public Google profiles. Still, I think Google is putting ‘hype’ before common sense. Google should’ve just yielded and realized they missed the social network boat. Buzz will never be what Facebook is (although that might be a good thing) and most Twitter users won’t see any reason to leave what they already have.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 2:11 am

Where are the stats to back that assertion please?

Nat Turner February 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

The sky isn't falling. Most people do not have public Google profiles. Still, I think Google is putting 'hype' before common sense. Google should've just yielded and realized they missed the social network boat. Buzz will never be what Facebook is (although that might be a good thing) and most Twitter users won't see any reason to leave what they already have.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

What I want to know is how to get rid of the stupid thing?! it has totally screwed up gmail. All my tabs (like Inbox or Chats or Sent Mail) are all missing. Settings has them listed as “Show” But they sure aren’t showing any where I can find them!! How do I get my gmail back to normal!!??

dahowlett February 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm

At the very bottom of your gmail screen there is a ‘turn off buzz’ link. It’s not easy to see but it is there.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm

According to my gmail account ( what I can observe) Buzz never loaded or became part of my Gamil….or whatever so I have no way off turning it off or on.

dahowlett February 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm

If it is turned on, then you will see a ‘Buzz’ link in the sidebar. If that is there then you CAN turn it off from the kink at the bottom. Try logging out and then back in.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Apparently Buzz and offline mode do not get along very well. By disabling Offline mode and refreshing the page, all my labels returned. Though buzz is not among them. not that I really care. I enabled offline mode and refreshed the page and everything is back to normal…for now.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Apparently Buzz and offline mode do not get along very well. By disabling Offline mode and refreshing the page, all my labels returned. Though buzz is not among them. not that I really care. I enabled offline mode and refreshed the page and everything is back to normal…for now.

Marc February 12, 2010 at 2:02 am

Your gmail IS back to normal. Buzz Does not affect the normal operation of the previous functions. See below for how to disable Buzz, if you hate it that much.

Unbelievable, how quickly people will run down something that’s new/that they might not understand.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 2:11 am

Google gets a free pass on a lot of things but messing with my privacy and wasting my time are beyond reasonable. That’s why people are concerned about it. It has nothing to do with understanding this tool.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

What I want to know is how to get rid of the stupid thing?! it has totally screwed up gmail. All my tabs (like Inbox or Chats or Sent Mail) are all missing. Settings has them listed as “Show” But they sure aren’t showing any where I can find them!! How do I get my gmail back to normal!!??

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

What I want to know is how to get rid of the stupid thing?! it has totally screwed up gmail. All my tabs (like Inbox or Chats or Sent Mail) are all missing. Settings has them listed as "Show" But they sure aren't showing any where I can find them!! How do I get my gmail back to normal!!??

dahowlett February 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

At the very bottom of your gmail screen there is a 'turn off buzz' link. It's not easy to see but it is there.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 8:58 pm

According to my gmail account ( what I can observe) Buzz never loaded or became part of my Gamil….or whatever so I have no way off turning it off or on.

dahowlett February 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm

If it is turned on, then you will see a 'Buzz' link in the sidebar. If that is there then you CAN turn it off from the kink at the bottom. Try logging out and then back in.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Apparently Buzz and offline mode do not get along very well. By disabling Offline mode and refreshing the page, all my labels returned. Though buzz is not among them. not that I really care. I enabled offline mode and refreshed the page and everything is back to normal…for now.

kiran February 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm

automatically enabling Buzz and adding people who I follow by default sucks big time. I have been hearing about google’s intrusion into privacy but this is heights of it. how the hell can they assume and decide if I would like to use it and most absurdly who I follow. I guess I should re-evaluate my decision of being a google user.

kiran February 11, 2010 at 9:18 pm

automatically enabling Buzz and adding people who I follow by default sucks big time. I have been hearing about google's intrusion into privacy but this is heights of it. how the hell can they assume and decide if I would like to use it and most absurdly who I follow. I guess I should re-evaluate my decision of being a google user.

Vicky February 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Buzz surprisingly showed on my Gmail yesterday or 2 days ago. I don’t care what it could do for me, but knowing someone is following me, that creeps me out. I successfully removed it today. Phew

Vicky February 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Buzz surprisingly showed on my Gmail yesterday or 2 days ago. I don't care what it could do for me, but knowing someone is following me, that creeps me out. I successfully removed it today. Phew

Nat Turner February 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm

The sky isn't falling. Most people do not have public Google profiles. Still, I think Google is putting 'hype' before common sense. Google should've just yielded and realized they missed the social network boat. Buzz will never be what Facebook is (although that might be a good thing) and most Twitter users won't see any reason to leave what they already have.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 2:11 am

Where are the stats to back that assertion please?

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

What I want to know is how to get rid of the stupid thing?! it has totally screwed up gmail. All my tabs (like Inbox or Chats or Sent Mail) are all missing. Settings has them listed as “Show” But they sure aren't showing any where I can find them!! How do I get my gmail back to normal!!??

dahowlett February 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm

At the very bottom of your gmail screen there is a 'turn off buzz' link. It's not easy to see but it is there.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm

According to my gmail account ( what I can observe) Buzz never loaded or became part of my Gamil….or whatever so I have no way off turning it off or on.

dahowlett February 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm

If it is turned on, then you will see a 'Buzz' link in the sidebar. If that is there then you CAN turn it off from the kink at the bottom. Try logging out and then back in.

Chezhian February 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Apparently Buzz and offline mode do not get along very well. By disabling Offline mode and refreshing the page, all my labels returned. Though buzz is not among them. not that I really care. I enabled offline mode and refreshed the page and everything is back to normal…for now.

Marc February 12, 2010 at 2:02 am

Your gmail IS back to normal. Buzz Does not affect the normal operation of the previous functions. See below for how to disable Buzz, if you hate it that much.

Unbelievable, how quickly people will run down something that's new/that they might not understand.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 2:11 am

Google gets a free pass on a lot of things but messing with my privacy and wasting my time are beyond reasonable. That's why people are concerned about it. It has nothing to do with understanding this tool.

kiran February 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm

automatically enabling Buzz and adding people who I follow by default sucks big time. I have been hearing about google's intrusion into privacy but this is heights of it. how the hell can they assume and decide if I would like to use it and most absurdly who I follow. I guess I should re-evaluate my decision of being a google user.

Marc February 12, 2010 at 12:21 am

Buzz is one hell of a lot more promising app than the moronic & moron-spawning Twitter. Give it a chance, haters. You may be surprised at what rolls out in the next few months.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 2:14 am

As I said above, why would I give a service a chance when *by default* I am being opted into stuff over which I have no control and which I then need to edit? It’s a ham handed approach. Sure we live in a time of perpetual beta but Google has been around long enough to know better. Or at least you would think so.

Marc February 12, 2010 at 3:21 am

Buzz is one hell of a lot more promising app than the moronic & moron-spawning Twitter. Give it a chance, haters. You may be surprised at what rolls out in the next few months.

Vicky February 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Buzz surprisingly showed on my Gmail yesterday or 2 days ago. I don't care what it could do for me, but knowing someone is following me, that creeps me out. I successfully removed it today. Phew

Marc February 12, 2010 at 5:02 am

Your gmail IS back to normal. Buzz Does not affect the normal operation of the previous functions. See below for how to disable Buzz, if you hate it that much.Unbelievable, how quickly people will run down something that's new/that they might not understand.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 2:07 am

Google gets a free pass on a lot of things but messing with my privacy and wasting my time are beyond reasonable. That’s why people are concerned about it. It has nothing to do with understanding this tool.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 5:07 am

Google gets a free pass on a lot of things but messing with my privacy and wasting my time are beyond reasonable. That's why people are concerned about it. It has nothing to do with understanding this tool.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 5:11 am

Google gets a free pass on a lot of things but messing with my privacy and wasting my time are beyond reasonable. That's why people are concerned about it. It has nothing to do with understanding this tool.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 5:11 am

Where are the stats to back that assertion please?

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 5:14 am

As I said above, why would I give a service a chance when *by default* I am being opted into stuff over which I have no control and which I then need to edit? It's a ham handed approach. Sure we live in a time of perpetual beta but Google has been around long enough to know better. Or at least you would think so.

Marc February 12, 2010 at 12:21 am

Buzz is one hell of a lot more promising app than the moronic & moron-spawning Twitter. Give it a chance, haters. You may be surprised at what rolls out in the next few months.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 2:14 am

As I said above, why would I give a service a chance when *by default* I am being opted into stuff over which I have no control and which I then need to edit? It's a ham handed approach. Sure we live in a time of perpetual beta but Google has been around long enough to know better. Or at least you would think so.

dahowlett February 12, 2010 at 2:07 am

Google gets a free pass on a lot of things but messing with my privacy and wasting my time are beyond reasonable. That's why people are concerned about it. It has nothing to do with understanding this tool.

Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I refuse to get a gmail account and my life is great thanks!
I’m not too keen of having my personal email out there.

i dont know where all this will go in 10 years??? so I wait and watch

Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I refuse to get a gmail account and my life is great thanks! I'm not too keen of having my personal email out there. i dont know where all this will go in 10 years??? so I wait and watch

Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I refuse to get a gmail account and my life is great thanks!
I'm not too keen of having my personal email out there.

i dont know where all this will go in 10 years??? so I wait and watch

resume May 20, 2011 at 8:05 am

interesting…thx

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