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What's wrong with Google Buzz

Tuesday, February 09, 2010 by Dave Winer.

A picture named coke2.jpgI only know about first impressions of Google Buzz because once I saw what it did to my Gmail inbox, which is a mission-critical app for me, my mission became How do I turn this fucker off? Permalink to this paragraph

This came after I learned that it made no attempt whatsoever to be Twitter API-compatible.  Permalink to this paragraph

It violates the prime directive of new software. It starts turned on, and the way to turn it off is all-but invisible. And it invades a space that heretofore Google helped to protect. One of the big values of Gmail is its spam filter. Now all of a sudden it's as if the exhaust was reversed, and it was spraying dirt into my message stream, instead of filtering it out. Permalink to this paragraph

New software should be easy to try out, and there should be no penalty for doing so. Here, they didn't even give us an option, I was automatically signed up, and the way out was hidden. The first bit, which is fun -- create a new post -- is followed by a flood of new messages in a semi-sacred private place, my email inbox. Permalink to this paragraph

Bottom-line: There's no good reason why Buzz (terrible name, btw) should be integrated with Gmail. The company showed the worst judgment. It took what was the industry leading web mail product and turned it into a lab experiment. Once I turned it off (it's not hard, there's a switch at the bottom of the Gmail home page), Gmail went back to being Gmail, and not a nightmarish ad for Google's software design ineptness. Permalink to this paragraph

After all that, Kevin Rose's analysis is right on. He calls them feature requests -- clever -- but his concerns are so basic, it's another way of saying this should have been labeled pre-pre-beta and should have been opt-opt-opt-in with disclaimers and confirmation on confirmantion, instead of turned on by default for all Gmail users.  Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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Last update: 2/9/2010; 11:56:28 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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