Google Buzz has had some incredible press about it since it was introduced just over a week ago. There was a day of euphoria quickly followed by some panning before confusion set in.
Now who knows what to make of it just yet?
As for my user experience with Buzz: it was Buzzkill once I decided to follow Pete Cashmore, Chris Brogan, and Tech Crunch. The constant influx of updates was too overwhelming to my inbox. My Buzz folder on Gmail, sad to say, will stay at “100+” for the foreseeable future. A shame too because the mobile potentials and integration with Maps could make Google Buzz fun. I’m hoping the rumored fixes come soon.
I’ve had friends say they’ve heard that Google is bringing in consultants and is trying to work on patches. My question is:
“How did Google Buzz, in its present state, get released in the first place?”
Google didn’t have to release this to everyone to learn about these quirks. Me, three friends, and a case of Gumballhead could have had unearthed these glaring faults regarding privacy, form, and function. And we could have discovered, sorted, and reported these errors before we finished our first round. Not that we were that good at any one particular thing so much as the faults were that glaring. We found them just the same, but it would saved Google days of bad press (unless the “no such thing as bad press” was part of the plan).
The problem when you’re the leading Search Engine Marketing company and you beta-like release a tool that is supposed to show how you’re ready for the future of new media is that you run the risk of being in conflict with the fundamental principal by which your services are centered around.
In their rush to start capturing press and wedge deeper into the encroaching social search market, Google became impatient and released Google Buzz before Google Buzz could really run like a Google product.
It’s the second product in a row. They did this with Google Wave, but not to the same extreme. In fact, this whole Buzz thing has given me a new appreciation for Google Wave.
What makes Google, “Google” isn’t their Search Marketing - though it’s what put them into the stratosphere - and it isn’t even their search algorithm – though it helped bring our worlds closer together at the start of this century. It isn’t the tools and toys: Adsense, Analytics, Google Maps, Book search, or the acquisition of YouTube. And it isn’t the cool new animated feature the fades the links in on the home page when you move the cursours around. But you start putting them all together and you start to see the picture. You start to see Google the way the user sees Google.
And the user is key because what makes Google, “Google” is the user experience. It’s the same advice Matt Cutts gives when discussing onsite SEO. It’s the same buzzword used when they’re tweaking and plugging.
User Experience, the element you typically want to get right when fostering an online application, is what was missing in Google Buzz when it was first released.
Do you think Google will improve the Google Buzz experience or hope we forget about it when Caffeine gets fully implemented?
While we’re at it: anybody heard about Google Caffeine lately?