As I make my way around the internet today, I'm not finding a lot of love for Google Buzz. In fact, people have been downright hostile to it, from what I can figure. Here are some Tweets from my knowledgeable friends:
* @theskypirate: I tried Buzz for a day, was unimpressed, and turned it off last night. I'll wait for it to bake just a little more.
* @DavidAKnopf: I don't hate #Buzz, but it brings very little new to the party, and some of the new stuff is annoying!
* @techcommdood: You'd think the smart people at #Google could design #Buzz better. #usability #accessibility #fail
That's a lot of criticism from several smart people, and it makes me stand up and take notice, but I don't completely agree. I think there's a lot of potential and I expect the fact it's open will lead to some interesting uses. Patience people, just a little patience.
The Public Followers List Tempest
People went ballistic almost as soon as Google Buzz went live yesterday because Google seeded Buzz with followers from what it saw as your "Frequent Mailers" list in Gmail. Some folks saw that as a gross violation of privacy. I'm not sure I agree, but you have to respect people's concerns and there is a quick fix for hiding your lists, so everyone can take a deep breath on that one, please.
The User Interface Complaints
Some people are complaining about the GMail alerts you get for each response in a Buzz stream. ReadWriteWeb has already posted a fix for an overactive Buzz Stream in an excellent post called 5 Google Buzz Tips for the Advanced User. Others don't like the lack of integration. Can't argue with that one. You can have your Twitter stream posted on Buzz, but not vice versa. And as of now, there is no connection to Facebook at all. This needs to change.
One thing I do like is the easy access to the Google Chat client from the Buzz stream, but I don't like how hard it is to find new followers beyond the ones that Google finds for you to seed Buzz when you first launch. I also don't like that it's locked in the GMail client, but this will probably change soon. In fact, the aforementioned RWW article lists several browser plug-ins that are already available. Like Google Wave, this is completely open, so let's give it a couple of weeks before we start declaring it an abject failure, shall we?
I don't totally love or completely hate it, and as one of my Twitter friends put it, it's going to take time bake. So give it a chance and let's see what the third-party vendors can do with it. Of course, there's always the chance (as I wrote in Can Google Build a Twitter Killer?) that people really, really don't like this tool and it fades to black, Google makes some partnerships with Twitter and Facebook, and we all move along. For now, let's sit back and watch what happens. This could be very interesting, so let's not simply dismiss it out of hand on Day 1.
Ron, I've known you for something like a decade. You are in my contact list. You've been a technology blogger - and had an established Internet presence - for years. Google is the undisputed leader in search. Yet I cannot find you anywhere on Buzz. If you are there, you are not visible (or discoverable) to me. Tell me again why I cannot suggest that Buzz, if not a failure, falls well short of success?