On February 14th, Danny Sullivan posted a frustrated Buzz about Google Buzz that lured me into making a few comments. Well, low and behold, but a man by the name of Josh Wills who is involved behind the scenes in Google Buzz jumped into the fray and listened. Yes, listened! I was so impressed, I thought I would share with you the conversation.
To set the tone, this all started when Danny Sullivan shared his frustration about how badly the reply system is designed within Google Buzz and that spawned a bit of a hackfest from other frustrated users.
Ross Dunn - Yes the whole thing is a confusing mess. I just don’t get what is going wrong over at Google. Have they lost perspective entirely? I am very disappointed; I actually had high hopes for them. I guess I have been taking it for granted that their products are well thought out. I won’t make that mistake again…
Josh Wills - @Alex is right, there is alot to fix. @Ross, I am sorry you’re disappointed. …
Josh went on to discuss spam issues on Buzz. I will just show you the parts where we interacted from here on in.
Ross Dunn - @Josh To me it seems so odd that Buzz is not sticking to the open concepts that Google has impressed me with over the years. Google has made great strides becoming the one company that has left doors open as often as possible yet the doors to interacting on other social platforms via Buzz are all closed.
It is astonishing really that Google hasn’t made Buzz a social hub where users like myself can stay within Gmail and tweet, plurk, friendfeed etc. to my heart’s content. Then I could use Google’s superior Gmail search options to review conversations from ages ago. THAT is the kind of innovation I had expected – is it really too much to ask?
Google would make a killing in advertising revenues and over time your own twitter-like Buzz system would take hold as people began to use Gmail to source their discussions.
Until at least some of that interactivity is built in, I am not feeling positive about the future of Buzz.
Here it comes… where I actually began to believe that Google is destined to get Buzz right – in the end. I can only pray I am right or that Josh isn’t the only one championing these open platform ideals.
Josh Wills - @Ross so what you describe in the second paragraph is what I personally want, though I don’t necessarily think of it as a buzz-as-hub sort of thing: I really want to be able to use whatever client I want and my friends can use whatever client they want and we can all share with each other. That’s a long-term vision and it goes beyond any single client or company.
I don’t know if you’re a developer or not, but I’d encourage you to check out what we have going at http://code.google.com/apis/buzz/. I definitely want it to be easy for you to tweet, plurk, etc. from buzz to your hearts content– but I want it to be just as easy for you to do it from/to the next service that comes along, and that means we need standards– and I feel like it would be weird for a company to be involved with creating all of these standards and not have an actual implementation of them that people could use.
So obviously, we’re not there yet. But we’re here, we’re talking, and we’re hacking code as fast as we can (and within the parameters that my girlfriend will allow on Valentine’s Day.) If you want to be a part of it, even if it’s just to complain, just @-reply me. I read it all.
Josh makes a good point here… I was focused on trying to play to what I perceived was Google’s end game – keep the conversations in Gmail just like Google Wave appears to promise in the future. Where in actuality, Josh (and hopefully his crew) are trying to make Google Buzz a far more open social stream that can be managed by other applications totally unrelated to Google.
Anyway, take from this what you will, but I think it is interesting to get a glimpse into at least one Googler’s mind and the possible future of Buzz.
And Josh Wills, if you read this, I can firmly say that I have not a programming bone in my body so the API is kind of wasted on me. That said, I am pumped to see some of that fast innovation Google is famous for appear within Buzz soon.