When I first herd about Google Buzz, Google’s latest offering (at the time of writing), I was v. excited to take it for a spin. The first thing that popped into my head went something like this:
Finally! Now I can access my Twitter and Facebook feeds at work without those meddling filters harshing my social media buzz!
But just a couple of days on, stuck at home the whole time due to the Snopocalypse (I just can’t get behind ‘Snomageddon’), well…, now I’m not so sure. This rather middle-of-the-road reaction could be because it’s new and I just haven’t put in enough time to understand and appreciate what it can and cannot do. The same can be said of Google Wave, but I’m still excited about that and fully recognize I have a lot to learn to really take advantage of it.
One notion that jumps to the fore comparing Wave and Buzz is the notion of privacy. Buzz just showed up in Gmail, a very ‘private’ screen on one’s laptop, pulling in information on friends and raising my concerns about how much of my dull private life is all of a sudden being broadcast into the ether. Do I really want the guys who’ll raze me mercilessly to know that I did a Google search for Nancy McKeon at 6:17 am because she was in my dream? No, I don’t. Luckily, none of them read this blog. Wave, in contrast, occupies its own screen, in the manner of Google Calendar or Google Docs. Sure, they’re all connected, but they don’t share the same screen real-estate unless you make it happen.
As a result, I’m debating whether or not to click the “turn off buzz” link at the bottom of my Gmail page, but if I do that, how will I learn what it can and cannot do, what it will and will not do? I suppose I can read about other users’ experiences. I guess what I’m trying to say is that my initial excitement about Buzz has turned to uncertainty and privacy concerns.
OK, true, that latter concern is rich considering how many Google products I already use! Ha ha! Privacy! I’m funny…