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Google Buzz is Already Dead (alanhogan.com)
25 points by alanh on Feb 14, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments

Oh, goodness. I do tire of the melodramatic pronunciations of Buzz's death less than a week in. Though some of the points the author makes are valid (esp having the "Email this" link so prominent), to extrapolate so far as to call the entirety of Buzz dead on arrival is ridiculous. As I've already said elsewhere on HN, Buzz has had a horrible rollout that cost Google a serious amount of goodwill, but the product itself has a lot going for it.

Sure, there may be problems, but they've already shown that they are willing to fix them. Next to search itself, Gmail is probably their single-largest profit center, so if they take the bold step of integrating Buzz into Gmail, that can only indicate a long-term commitment to making the service work. In short, no, Buzz is not dead already. It's getting off to a less than stellar start, but it's very far from dead.

> …melodramatic pronunciations of Buzz's death

By "already dead," what I really meant was "Buzz is doomed from a user experience point of view," not "Buzz is already a ghost town." (And as cabalamat guesses, there is probably some wishful thinking involved.)

That makes a lot more sense, but I think that Google will put the money into fixing the problems you point out. I say that not because I personally like Buzz, but because Google does seem dedicated to the Buzz service line, and they aren't stupid. They may do some dumb things at times, but they are not stupid.

I hope you're right.

Still, a lot of my complaints would need to be addressed with significant changes to the service (changing how we are notified of replies & mentions, de-coupling Reader & Buzz and perhaps Gmail & Buzz, uncluttering the UI, showing fewer strangers). I can't think of any Google product that was ever fundamentally changed on this scale. Wave would be a good example of a service that could really use a rethinking of the UI (there are at least 4 or 5 ways to dismiss a Wave: Archive, Mute, Delete, Mark as Read, Mark as Spam, for example), but it hasn't gotten it, and I am pessimistic that this will ever happen.

> I do tire of the melodramatic pronunciations of Buzz's death less than a week in.

Maybe there's an element of wishful thinking involved? I would love it if Buzz did die, and Google learnt not to do something like it again.

I dont know about you all, but Buzz makes a lot more sense to me than Facebook+Twitter combined. My real social network is in my inbox and my Buzz is exploding with great live discussions I'm having with friends and all sorts of interesting folks in their addressbooks.

Being gmail-based also provides a natural content filter: somehow gmail accounts are relatively free of morons who tend to inhabit hotmail/AOL, hence the advantage of higher quality discussions on Buzz as opposed to Facebook.

That, plus the absense of a silly message length limit make buzz the only social network I'm using.

My best social network is facebook. Most of my friends don't use Gmail or twitter, but all but one of them are on facebook. I can only assume this is the norm rather than the exception.

Certain groups of people might find Buzz useful, but I'm sure more won't than even those who don't find twitter useful (at least twitter has more famous people on it that others can follow).

Buzz is going to die not because of the privacy problems this week but because it forces you to live in a "Google World". I have a gmail account but it isn't and won't ever be my primary mailbox. Twitter, Facebook, XMPP based IM are all open enough and integrate into my current life -- they don't force me to go live a new one.

Buzz may or may not be dead, but I prefer it to twitter for every reason you listed.

I don't want to bother logging into another account to check something, but since buzz is right there, I'll check it.

The fact that anyone can inline images or video, and in the future other forms of multimedia content is great.

I am put off by the article's title, but otherwise Alan makes some good points: I would prefer that Buzz not show the number of new items. I have been using Buzz like I use Twitter: about 10 minutes a day (each) to take a quick look for interesting things to read. I'm enjoying Buzz, and as long as it is easy to completely disable it I don't think that people have much to complain about.

BTW, a little off topic but: how difficult is it really to remove duplicate entries in Google Reader and similar aggregators? Even better: recognize which articles are original and which are just summaries with a link to the original article. Eliminate duplicates, favoring original articles. (Seems like NGRAMS or comparing word count statistics might do the trick.)

even though I don't understand buzz very well yet, it seems to be nicely integrated into Android. Showing buzz on google maps is just a button away.

I wouldn't call it dead yet...

when in Buzz, the search field at top becomes "Search Buzz" as opposed to "Search Mail" -- really fast searches of the whole network. It's far from dead.

That's a cool feature, though the UI is such that I would have never guessed that if you never told me. Using visual hierarchies would solve this design problem.

I don't use it, so it's not a big loss.

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