Google “Buzzed” my Inbox. Do I have to answer?

Gmail is my holy grail. It’s my online quiet place. And yesterday Google Buzz came and crashed my pad like an old friend looking for a couch. It’s noisy, distracting and appears to be duplicating existing services that serve me quite well.

It’s not that I’m adverse to change, I love it and embrace it. But as of late I feel like Google is throwing a ton of shit at the wall hoping something sticks. Is this a take two on Google Wave?

I get it. Google is trying its damnedest to get into the social space in some meaningful way. But it didn’t work. Twitter? Maybe they should have just bought them. Google Buzz? You’re late to the party, I feel like I’ve seen you before, and I’m not keen on you crashing my inbox.

I have gone to great lengths to ensure that what I see in my Gmail inbox are things I want to see. My calendar is clean, my contacts organized, and I have filters setup so that the emails in my inbox are relevant. But now, the conversations that I’d have on facebook or twitter are bleeding into my sanctuary of order. I fear I may soon have no place to hide.

I expect that I will soon develop a filter and adapt to this new noise, but I am not a fan of having this distraction in my Gmail inbox. As much as I’d love to pretend I can follow twitter/facebook/reader/buzz intently while working, I know that even sometimes I too have to turn off the social media valve and focus on the task in front of me. Google buzz, just knocked down the door that separated my social media conversations and productivity.

I’m curious how I feel about this tomorrow. Update to follow.

Categories: Social Media
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  • Stephen Belcher

    I’ve loved Google products for a long time. My admiration for them delved dangerously close to the fanboy level.

    That was before Google Wave.

    The much-sought-after Google Wave invite finally came in to my inbox, and I instantly logged in, only to ask the immediate and pressing question of the two other people I knew that had it: “what the hell am I supposed to do with this?” No one had an answer. In fact, I still don’t know what it’s for. I tried to play with some chess plugin (god knows why it was there), but when castling I accidentally deleted the board. Whoops.

    I’m there with you on the “seeing what sticks” idea. I think they expected Google Wave to soar, and instead it flopped. Everyone wanted it, but after getting it realized it was terrible. Buzz feels like a hasty answer to that. And while it doesn’t have the same failings, it has an entirely new set. Google’s openness has always been charming, after a fashion. Their core monetary value is in spreading information, after all. But as they’ve tried to force information into everyone’s face in ever-increasing quantities, it’s becoming more like the irritating kid following you around shouting information you don’t care about over the conversations that you do want to hear.

    I’m surprised not to hear you talk about the privacy issues, which is the bigger problem for everyone else. They’re not worried about information getting in, but information getting out. Email’s never been the most secure method of communication, but it’s like Google Buzz has walked into your proverbial house and opened all the blinds. The windows were always there, but now everyone’s that much more free to leer inside.

    I’ve declined to try out Google Buzz, and hopefully it won’t be a mandatory addition.

  • Adam Gorode

    The privacy issue is one that came to my attention shortly after this post was written. It’s covered well by business insider ( Your sentiments are dead on. I’ve accepted and will continue to play with it as it’s part of my job. But given the option I’m not sure whether or not I would continue using it. It seems to me that if google is really looking to get into this space the answer might be acquisition. But I’m also on day one. Lets see how day two goes…

  • makc

    you know you can turn it of, don’t you

    settings -> labels -> hide buzz

    or they say there’s link on the bottom somewhere