why Buzz and i will not be working together: an open letter to google

dear Google:

i get that you’re trying to organize the world’s information, and not be Evil. that’s something i can get behind. honestly! and i also really appreciate Gmail, and Google Reader. and Google Wave seems interesting and all, if i could figure out how to use it properly.

but this new buzz thing … i just had a fight with it, and i won’t be making up anytime soon. let me tell you why.

my Google account is linked to many things that are not supposed to be public: Gmail, for instance. and, in case you weren’t aware of the way you’ve programmed this new beast of yours, my Contacts are from that account — PERSONAL CONTACTS for my PERSONAL EMAIL for my (theoretical) PERSONAL LIFE. ahem. sorry. i will try and stop shouting.

so this morning, i saw a tweet about how my Contacts were being made public because of Buzz. so then i went and looked, and, behold! it was true! i don’t know what inspired the Google Profile, but i’m not happy about it. so, i went into the settings, where the full extent of your duplicity appeared.

boxes, CHECKED: ‘Display my full name so I can be found in search’ and ‘Display the list of people I’m following and people following me’

….. i will not curse or yell. i will just very calmly UNCHECK THE BOXES. dear Google, let’s take a second to think this one through. by putting Buzz in my Gmail, you implied to me that it was yet another way for me to communicate with my Contacts — i.e., people that i actually know.

then, i went back to my Gmail, to respond to something i had seen in Buzz — something MY PERSONAL CONTACT said. and behold! i am now locked out, because i decided that i would prefer privacy. apparently if i’m not willing to play publicly, i can’t play at all.

so instead of this being a new way to connect with people i know, this is your attempt to take on Twitter. and i can understand why you’d want to do that. hell, i’m on Twitter almost as often as i check my email! the difference is, Twitter actually ASKED me if i wanted people to see me and talk to me. Twitter ASKED me if maybe i knew people who were also on Twitter, and gave me several ways to find them. WITHOUT raiding my personal Contact list!

Google, i’m not going to mince words. this is Kind-of Evil.

why Buzz and i will not be working together: an open letter to google

5 thoughts on “why Buzz and i will not be working together: an open letter to google

  1. Very well said Jenn, diplomatic and firm at the same time. I only hope Google sit up and listen (although I probably wouldn’t hold your breath for too long :))

  2. James says:

    It was also kind of evil when they decided to put every book online, regardless of who actually owned (or might make their living from) the copyright.

  3. thanks Rob! believe me, not holding my breath.

    James, this is true. although i hear they are coming around — they came to talk to indie booksellers last week in San Jose, so maybe some goodness will be in the pipeline?

    1. i didn’t sign up for it either — it just showed up for me. settings are in both Google Reader and in your Google Profile (they are hard to find, but exist, i guarantee it!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s