Last week I gave Google a small pass for launching Buzz with serious privacy problems and a too-hard-to-find “off” button, saying that at least they were iterating quickly and openly, correcting their mistakes. Today I’m happy to see they continued to do so this weekend, even after I wondered if I spoke too soon. Significant changes to how Buzz works will be rolling out which address most of the problems it has. Would you see this kind of quick and apologetic about-face from an Apple or a Facebook? I don’t think so.
It’s really wonderful to see a big company involved in the customer feedback cycle like this.
People say that small companies can respond more quickly and be more nimble…but the truth is that when a big company has the right processes in place it can iterate way faster since it has so many more resources (developers, designers, testers, and data) to throw at the challenge.
I’m really glad Google’s working so hard at making the Buzz experience rich and non-invasive. This is definitely the kind of corporate attitude I enjoy seeing.
Yeah Google definitely deserved a free pass on publishing our address books! Apple and Facebook would have been all mean and cranky about it, and that makes it all better.
As a matter of fact, fire QA and replace them with a bunch of twitter accounts!
Absolutely correct– we’d never see this kind of turnaround from Facebook or Apple or similar.
For all those people who are so skeptical of Google, thinking they *must* be evil *somehow*… I must refute those accusations. Google’s teams would never go through all of this just to be screwing us all in the end 🙂
Looking forward to your next chat with Leo and Jeff– we missed your opinions this last weekend.
I think Google’s blown this one. Their responsiveness has been great — certainly way better than other companies — but I think it’s too little, too late.
So far, there’s really nothing big and new in buzz, aside from slightly better linkage to gmail, etc., etc.. So, why should I switch, especially considering all of the problems? I’m happy with the other sites (I can manage the privacy issues there).
IMHO, that, in a nutshell, is the problem with buzz.
“IMHO, that, in a nutshell, is the problem with buzz.”
That was kind of abstract, AJ Robins… I see Buzz as the “social” aspect without the “social website sandbox where we sell everything you upload”
We actually have seen this sort of posture from Facebook before, but it was a very different Facebook. Remember when they first launched the news feed back in ’06? People freaked. Facebook listened to the feedback and made a number of content sharing options.
Many of these Facebook privacy options were recently altered or removed, much to the dismay of quite a few users. This time around Facebook has chosen to ignore the objections. It’s like when an indie band puts out a couple big records. All of a sudden all that talk about not selling out doesn’t seem too important.
Which is really what makes Google’s timely response all the more baffling. It would have been one thing for them to jump on some of the privacy gaffes but otherwise leave Buzz as they released it. But Google really did a lot to improve pieces of the user experience based on user feedback. And Google has been putting out platinum albums for years.
We hear a lot about apple fanboys. I think it’s time to admit you’re a google fanboy gina, or at least an apologist.
You do a great job, I’ll admit that.
I so read “Irritating Buzz” rather than “Iterating Buzz”…
I seem to remember when Mobile Me launched, and was having some serious problems, Apple publicly apologized and gave users up to three free months of service.
I also seem to have forgotten the time that Apple published all of their users’ contact information and address books without warning, or, apparently, any external testing.
And, Google apologized for any “concern” they caused, not for exposing every Gmail user’s address book to the web, so that doesn’t mean a lot in my book. Google destroyed a lot of the goodwill and trust that I had with this thing. Now I’m seriously concerned about how deep I am in their ecosystem and am looking for alternatives.
No. Because other providers make worse mistakes does not excuse Google. The goal is to make better products, not ‘be less crappy’.
What’s Apple got to do with social networking?
The whole Buzz launch has been an unmitigated disaster for Google. The fundamental privacy flaws in it were obvious from the outset, yet somehow nobody at Google noticed them.
Much as I admire you, your unquestioning fangirlism is starting to grate a little. You don’t seem to be able to see anything bad with what they do, even when they make stupendous cock-ups like Buzz.
Oh, come on. Google made a boneheaded move. Sure, I’ve had complaints about Apple from time to time, but what does that have to do with anything?
Google makes money selling ads. So we all know it is in their interest to collect every iota of information they can about us all. That comes with a huge responsibility on their part if they want to retain their users’ trust.
Mostly I do trust them. So, sure, I’ll live with an ad on my gmail screen that is related to the content of the (private?) email I’m reading at the moment.
Still, to the less nerdy of us out here, the sometimes not-easily-understood features of some of the half-baked things Google releases (i.e., Buzz), serves only to erode such trust.
I’m taking a more skeptical approach.
It’s well known that users trust companies that correct mistakes more so than they trust companies who make no mistakes.
My theory: Google intentionally makes these sorts of mistakes in order to display themselves as “the good guy”.
In chess, not all gambits are actually gambits.
It’s good that Google responded to users’ feedbacks quickly enough. However, I was very surprised that they made such a mistake.
I love how this is being painted as “Googles” mistake. The only mistake they made was thinking that people were going to read what was on their screen before clicking OK.
I read what was on the screen when Buzz activated in my Gmail, then I knew what I wanted to edit, what I wanted to change and where I had to go to do it.
All people had to do was RTFM. But noooooooo, it’s all Googles fault. Typical.
It’s interesting that very few people see what happened with Buzz as intentional. Buzz has been worked on for something like 3 years. Anyone involved in it knew this was going to happen but went ahead anyway.
The reason for linking everyone up this way is simple. It created a massive social network overnight. Changing features afterwards is really not going to change the fact that some hundred million gmail users all got tied up into a network they had no idea was coming.
Also blaming people for not reading everything about Buzz before enabling it is lame. Gmail has always been seen as a private space and any new feature that appears within it could always be considered to be acting within that idea that email is private. Buzz threw out any such notions and opened email up to other Google services that you may or may not see as private.
I still think it was a great move on Googles part. But I’m under no illusion that this was a mistake. The so called fixes came so fast they had to be waiting in the wings. You can’t just make major changes to something as big as Buzz overnight. There has to be some internal testing first.