Google Buzz Reduces The Noise? My Irish Arse It Does!

I listened yesterday and started to believe the crap I heard about how Google Buzz was going to make my social circle more relevant, reduce the noise, filter out the crap and generally make right the wrongs of the universe.

Why then Google, have I woken up this morning with 1000+ new items in my Google Reader, which were shared by people I am following on Google Buzz?

reader clogged by Google Buzz
Google Buzz = Less Noise?

This is a perfect example of what Sara was talking about in her post yesterday when discussing Googles need to have a singled shared address book or set of contacts across all their services. Google doesn’t get that sometimes you don’t want to follow the same people everywhere.

For example, I had (prior to Buzz) my Google Reader set up just the way I like it, but now, on top of the items form the 300+ blogs and news sources I check a day, I’ve got all the shares from many of the same people I am already subscribed to? What gives? I did not subscribe to their shares in Google Reader!

That’s like saying that because I subscribe to your blog, I have to get all your tweets as well!

Sorry Google, but this is a major fail – You’ve just increased the noise to signal ratio that I receive exponentially!

Has Google Gone A Step Too Far By Forcing Buzz On Users?

I know Google desperately want people to use Google Buzz, but as Steven Hodson pointed out, growth of the network will always be limited by the fact that you have to have a Gmail account in order to use the service.

Google Buzz is a clever trap, but a trap all the same. It is the hunk of cheese to get more people using Gmail which in turn locks users into Google even more.

Google, in it’s attempts to ensure adoption have taken the kind of  step that hasn’t been seen since the Microsoft of the 90’s and actually forced all Gmail account holders into being users regardless of whether they want to or not.

As Mark Davidson said on Facebook earlier tonight:

I’m not sure why but I’m bothered by Buzz. I don’t like it, I don’t want it. But I have it. Sure I don’t have to us it. I think maybe it’s because for the first time, Google has forced a web tool on me. I’ve been using Gmail since 2004. If I love Gmail, and I do, I’m forced to have Buzz. I’m about 10 minutes away from …re-installing MS Office so I can use Gmail as a relay for Outlook again. You know what I like? Choice. That’s what got me using Google web tools in the first place. Today is the first day, I’ve ever viewed Google in the same light as I viewed Microsoft in the mid-nineties.

It’s this kind of move that could result in a temporary boost for Gmail and Googles other services, but as I’ve already seen tonight people are complaining about things like unremoveable messages in their inbox, and of course the pre-existing faults caused by Googles need to have a universal address book and not allow you to delete contacts from one Google service without deleting them on all.

This forced use could ultimately be detrimental to Gmail as users who don’t want an intrusive social network clogging up their inbox choose to go to less crowded and more traditional email systems. Yes, you can stop Buzz features from appearing in your inbox after the fact but once you are in, you’re in.

As I’ve said before, the right tool for the right job, and morphing Gmail into a full featured social network may stop it being a tool of productivity and turn it into another Facebook/Twitter timewaster.

Google Buzz is a clever trap, but a trap all the same. It is the hunk of cheese to get more people using GMail which in turn locks users into Google even more.

Google Hasn’t Built A Twitter Killer: Goolge Buzz

FYI: I started writing this before the Google announcement today and am writing it as I watch it live and as a product GBuzz looks great.

Google doesn’t want to build, nor is it trying to build a “twitter killer”. What Google wants is your information in order to better target advertising.

Every time you send an email, update your status, chat on Goggle Talk, share an item on Google Reader, post a video to YouTube or a picture to Picasa, Google gets a little bit more information about you that it can use to better tune the advertising you see in the hope that you will click on one of those ads.

Information like your status updates disappear as soon as they are used but by offering timelines where you can see the status updates of your friends Google  can keep you on in their service a little longer and in front of their advertising a little longer.

By associating Facebook and Twitter id’s with your Gmail contacts Google learns a little more about both you and your contacts. They have already announced that you will be able to import RSS streams from other services, connect with twitter, and there was a hint of facebook connect. It was driven home that the platform will be made as open as possible and noted that if you tweet and it gets imported into GBuzz then it could end up on somebody elses recommended list.

GBuzz is shaping up to be a wonderful looking social experience, but it boils down to being a content gathering service. It will allow you to pump information into Google from all your other services, consume information there and ultimately spend more time in from of Google advertisements while providing it with the information necessary to fine tune those advertisements to you and your friends.

At the end of the day it all boils do to gathering more information about you in order to target advertising. They don’t need to build a Twitter killer. Twitter and Facebook already do a great job creating the information that Google wants.

What they have built however, is a marvelous looking social experience for those people who already use Gmail and Googles mobile services and given them the means to pour information about themselves and others into Googles servers.