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On Google Buzz and Other Search Engine News

Submitted by on Monday, 15 February 2010No Comment

1266202825 On Google Buzz and Other Search Engine News

It is time for our weekly search engine news wrap-up, and this time we provide you with several articles about the controversial new Google Buzz service.

Google Buzz is a new feature of Gmail that lets you broadcast comments, photos and other types of content to your network of friends. yes, it is very much a Twitter, Facebook kind of thing, and Buzz is clearly one of Google’s attempts at stealing some of the thunder of those two social networks.

Buzz is also part of Google’s attempt at turning Gmail into a sort of personal online content hub. It is already connected to the Google Reader, which allows you to read RSS and Atom feeds without leaving Google. you can use Google Docs to upload and share all kinds of files and documents. now you can also import your Twitter feed into Buzz. more types of content will follow.

Our immediate response was that this is just too much. we do not want all this information in our inbox. we are drowning. still, we can turn the service off, so that should not be too much of a problem.

The main problem with Google Buzz was the way it was set up. In order to help people build a network, Google decided to include your most active email and chat friends in your network by default.

Given that many hardly read all the legal yada yada the web sites push at us anymore, this means that Gmail users that accepted Buzz risked broadcasting who they were corresponding with to all the world. a psychiatrist using Gmail might have exposed his patients to his “friends”.

As soon as we realized this, we turned Buzz off. Google had made a huge PR blunder, leading to deep mistrust among many Internet savvy users.

Fortunately, Google reacted swiftly. Auto-follow is now auto-suggest. Buzz will now suggest people to follow, with the entire list pre-selected. Untick the ones you would like to exclude and you should be safe.

Picasa and Google Reader will no longer be connected to Buzz automatically. Moreover, there will be a new Buzz tab in settings, where you can disable Buzz completely.

Google says:

“For the tens of millions of you who have already started using Buzz, over the next couple weeks we’ll be showing you a similar version of this new start-up experience to give you a second chance to review and confirm the people you’re following.”

Google presents Google Buzz in the following video:

Buzz for Mobile is also controversial, as you may — if you are not careful — broadcast your exact location to friends and foes:

Here’s what other web sites and blogs have to say about Google Buzz:

Other search engine news:

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