Monday, February 22, 2010

What's the Opposite of "Buzz"? Because That's What Google Is Generating with Buzz.

Google's belated second shot at social networking with the Gmail-based Buzz service was supposed to catapult the company into competition with Twitter and Facebook. But instead, it has created an amazing uproar among Gmail users who feel the service is invasive at best and privacy-adverse at worst.

How this piece of junk escaped internal testing is unclear, given how poorly implemented it was at launch last week, as well as its complete lack of configuration. But with Google now facing a class-action lawsuit over the service, maybe it's time for the online giant to step back and ask itself what the heck just happened.

For all the bad stuff Google has done over the years—working with the Chinese and scanning copyrighted books without asking permission, for starters—it's interesting to see that a silly and pointless service is what brought this clueless and insular high-flyer down to Earth.

The issue here is simple, however, and although I wish I could take credit for this observation, it comes from my friend Fabrice: No one cared when Google was violating IP and copyright laws around the world by scanning books, because that was other people's data. But when Google opens up actual users to privacy invasion, it gets personal. I think Fabrice is right. Google is a smart company full of smart people. But this is one the dumbest things I've ever seen.

Source : WinInfo Dailey by Paul thurrott