Tardy Google: Wave notifications and Buzz privacy

By Renee Revetta | Apr 6, 2010
More Articles by Renee

Keep an eye out on Google Buzz today – a confirmation of your privacy settings will be rolling out. And if you haven’t been using Google Wave because you were frustrated you couldn’t get notifications, well, now you can. Oh, you say you’ve already lost interest? I agree. Because of Google’s tardiness with Wave updates, I completely removed Wave from my daily routine. The two Google products have caused quite a bit of chatter, as users weren’t shy to share their disappointment about the missing options in Buzz and Wave. Now after months of waiting, Google has implemented two of users’ biggest wishes: a confirmation of Buzz privacy and notifications for Wave. But at this point, do we care?

Wave notifications were released on March 31, about four months after the public release of the product. Did they really think our attention span would be that long? And didn’t this whole debacle revolve around user options? Users should have had the option to be notified about Waves from the start – just like emails. And with Buzz, users shouldn’t have been automatically forced to publicly show who they’re connected to in their personal lives. Both of those problems are hopefully now amended, although some Buzz privacy issues cannot be repaired.

Has Google learned its’ lesson? I don’t think so. Buzz settings still read:

Disable Google Buzz
This will disable Google Buzz in Gmail and delete your Google Profile and Buzz posts. It will also disconnect any connected sites and unfollow you from anyone you are following.

Options, please. The user wants to disable BUZZ. Not their GOOGLE PROFILE. What if they originally had a Google Profile as their online directory? Disabling a new product shouldn’t wipe out an old product that the user could have been using for months.

Email and IM programs are still winning out over Wave, and Buzz is struggling to keep up with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare (the Buzz mobile app is reminiscent of Foursquare). It’s not like Buzz doesn’t have any competition.

Buzz works well as a forum for discussions, but so does Facebook. What’s different is the closed off nature of Facebook, which could be changing soon, as well. We’ll have to see how things shake out, but in the meantime, let me know how you’re using Buzz and what was that other one called? Oh – Wave. Maybe you’re finding use for it! Find me @reneerevetta on Twitter.

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