Buzz is a strange product. From a company noted to testing, iterating, and keeping products in beta for years, Buzz felt like something rolled out quickly and with little thought as to how users outside the Google-plex might want to engage and interact with it. Using Gmail and attempting to tie my contacts to my social network might have seemed like a good way to jumpstart but, in reality, all it did was turn off a lot of users. While I know many find Buzz useful, my initial experience and Google’s overall model for use have turned me off on the service. Perhaps I’m just being Buzz-kill but for now, I’ll wait for a few more iterations before I try again.
On a related note, my colleague Charlene Li discusses the implications of privacy and why Google Buzz is a nightmare for parents. If you’ve got a kid using Gmail, Charlene’s piece is a must read.