The buzz about Buzz must be hurting Google at the moment. It’s an exercise in how not to launch a social media service.
When developing the service, Google made the assumption that your regular contacts on Gmail are the same people that you would like to share your public photos, videos and status with. A lot of people loved the ease of use, but a vocal (and correct) minority pointed out the pitfalls of revealing your email contact network to the world.
I talked to Morning Report on Radio New Zealand this morning about the launch, what went wrong, and what it means for the future of Buzz. To me, the crux of the issue is the way Google treats everything as pure data. In the same way staff in financial institutions can be numbed by the huge numbers they deal with, I wonder if Google engineers analysing pure data can easily forget about the humans that created the data in the first place.
Here’s the audio [1MB MP3 Link] . I’d love to hear your thoughts.