If you don’t know what Google Buzz is go here.
With that out of the way…
So far, I like it. Or I like the idea of it. Some of the functionality isn’t there yet. In fact, for a company that insisted on calling Gmail a beta product for years, I’m surprised they just sent Buzz out into the wild without more testing.
What I like
- I use Gmail constantly. It’s the home page in my browser, almost always open. I have one main account and everything from my other email addresses is forwarded there. I don’t have to add yet another site to keep up with.
- It has what I like best about Facebook and Friendfeed- threaded conversations. I don’t use Friendfeed much anymore, it just never quite fit into my routine. Buzz is like Friendfeed popped itself into my day.
- It integrates Google Reader shared items. I haven’t used the feature much before but I’ll probably hit that share button a little more often now.
What I don’t
- It allows anyone to follow you, with no option to keep your profile private. If you want to use Google Buzz, you have to have a public Google profile. You can block people but it seems a drastic measure, especially if the follower is a perfectly nice friend of a friend. For now I’m only allowing people I know already to follow me, the same way I use Facebook. A number of friends have raised the privacy issue, and it’s a big one.
- You can’t filter the inbound stream. I love my nephew to death but I don’t necessarily want to see his Buzz conversations with his friends. I want to choose who I see. I guess I can unfollow him, but why should I have to? In Facebook I can hide updates while still remaining friends. I’d like to see that integrated.
Friendfeed handles filtering brilliantly. If I only want to see status updates from someone, and not all their other shared items, I can filter them out. Facebook lets you filter out apps. Buzz- add filters!
- It’s yet more information through Google. If anything every happens to Google- we’re all doomed.
This is just a first day reaction. I’m sure I’ll find more to love, and hate. It’s been funny watching the reactions of friends, many think it’s cool, many absolutely hate it. Most seem at least a little confused. I can already see Buzz replacing Facebook in my daily routine- but that may just because the most recent Facebook update has made it
impossible difficult to see updates from the people I really care about.
For now, I’ll give Buzz a shot, and I expect that Google will have some updates along the way. At the end of the day, I don’t think there is such a thing as a single solution for everyone (aside from email, which will never die.)