Category Archives: buzz

Google Buzz Update

Just like I’ve flip flopped many times with Twitter, I have with Buzz too. This time I made a final decision. I’m finished with it. I did not like the UI one bit. I didn’t know anyone personally who used it. And it doesn’t look like the “active” user base is growing. Active meaning people who use it, not just stream other feeds into it.

I’ve “decommissioned” my Buzz profile. Unfollowed everyone, etc. It’s not for me. I would delete it entirely if it wasn’t tied directly to the Google Profile. I’d like to keep my Google Profile, so I’ll just keep a blank Buzz account open until they kill off Buzz like they did Wave.

Where I can, I’m trying to go to all of the social media, bookmarking, etc. sites that I’ve tried over the years to delete my account. Just kind of to clean up any outdated profiles of mine from the web. It seems only about half of sites allow you to delete a profile/service. So abandoned ones will always remain I guess.

Since I mentioned Twitter… I stopped trying to make it work for me, but also found probably one of it’s best uses. Niches. I’ve become more and more a fan of MMA, and since MMA isn’t mainstream, Twitter is a great source of information from the fighters and MMA news outlets. I’ve stopped following a lot of the “gurus” (social media, marketing, etc.) as Twitter became a forum for a lot of them to be too self-promotional. So now I follow a handful of friends and associates, some news sources, and good MMA sources.

How I’d Fix Buzz, Which is a Mess

Wednesday I posted that it was a mess. It still is. Very messy. Today they released a feature that auto collapses comments on posts that have a lot of comments based on some kind of logic. There was a consensus in the comments of Buzz’s official post–that’s not what people wanted.

It stinks.

Someone made a great suggestion to make it more like Reader. Spot on.

Buzz should follow Reader’s interface. Only have a count of what’s new, what’s updated, and what’s read. And be able to:

  • Show New (count)
  • Show New  (count) and Updated (count)
  • Show All

Like Reader, don’t assume I read something if it’s at the bottom of my screen. Mark it read if I read it, or if I choose to mark it read. Today, if something is buried below the fold, Buzz assumes you’ve read it.

Like Reader, have everything collapsed unless I tell you open each (by navigating or otherwise). If I’m in the mood, let me just mark everything as read.

Basically, copy Reader.

Also, have @reply hotlinks next to everyone’s comments for easy referencing other’s. I still don’t understand how it’s done if you don’t know someone’s gmail address.

And finally, add a +follow link too next to everyone’s comments for easy adding. I choose to follow people based on their commenting. So that would save me (and I bet a lot of others) a lot of wasted clicks.

Another Google Reader Annoyance

Fresh of my last post on why I refuse to use Buzz becaues it’s integrated with Reader (without the choice), I was reminded of another annoyance of Reader.

I like the recommended feeds feature, but once I say “no thanks,” that should be it. For good. Instead it keeps constantly recommending me the same feeds over and over and over. Enough!!!

It’s making the discovery of really good and NEW blogs slow and hard. I hardly use it because of this.

Also, I liked the “popular” feature that they had a few weeks ago. But they switched it back. They should have both.

Also, another thing about recommendations is that sometimes the feeds are too similar to what I’m already subscribed to. Lately I’ve been going through my feeds and only keeping one or two similar blogs. For example, both Mashable and Techcrunch cover the same things, so subscribing to both creates a lot of duplicate info. Adding more similar feeds would create even more duplicates. So my new motto is just follow one (or two at most) and trust that they cover what I need.

This is also why I’ve stopped following some people. Some people’s habits were to share similiar articles from different sources. I don’t need to read that Google Buzz launched from 10 different sources. One is enough thank you.

Does Google “Get” Social

Orkut. Know it? Probably not. It’s Google’s version of Facebook.

Friend Connect. Know it? You may have seen it on a few sites. Do you remember what it was for? I run the http://nycbbb.com/ site, which should be a slam dunk for something like that. I had it on my site for almost a year, and got maybe 7 people to “join.” Then I couldn’t figure out how to leverage it even if more people joined. The only word I can think of to describe the feature is fractured. Compare that to nearly 600 people I got to become a fan of ours on Facebook–in a matter of weeks. Interacting with the fans on Facebook is easy.

Latitude. Does anyone use that for any real purpose? I sure don’t know anyone who even uses it at all. So I finally shut it off.

Buzz. Fitting name. Like an annoying fly it had proved to me to be highly annoying. I want it separate from e-mail all together. I really don’t think it’ll ever become popular like Facebook or Twitter.

I guess you have to be in it to win it so to speak. But Google hasn’t had any wins in the social space yet.

Eating dogfood might be good for people who love eating dogfood

No, I have not gone mad.

“Eating one’s own dog food” is a phrase used to describe a company who uses the products it makes. They are essentially their own customer.

I had this thought at the tip of my tongue (or fingers), and one of my favorite blogs beat me to it. Outspoken Media touches on this in their latest post, How Listening To Your Bubble Costs You Money.

There are a lot of Google’s offerings and features of their offerings that are just plain weird. They don’t make much sense at all. I’m not alone. I read and post to their help forums. I see others with the same frustrations.

Perhaps Google employees, some of the most talented programmers there are, use products differently than your everyday lay user.

That’s my guess.

Who are they using to beta test? I would be an excellent beta tester for them. I know a lot about most of Google’s products. I’ve tried them all. And I become sheerly frustrated with some of them. GMail’s suggested completely unintuitive “all contacts” vs. “my contacts” feature. Reader’s automatically following of users you choose to follow in Buzz or “blogs I’m following.” GMail tasks not tightly integrated in Android’s calendar. I can go on an on. I’ve written about it before. I don’t enjoy dogfood.

I’m not a serial complainer. At least I don’t think. A lot of Google’s products are on the verge of greatness, but are one or two steps away–which they don’t seem to ever tie up.