Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Buzz is not enough

Google finally realized (or already had in the plan) what I've known all along: There's space for something other than MySpace or Facebook in the social networking world, especially for people who don't want glittery unicorns and an endless parade of click-jacking and game notifications. And Google Buzz isn't quite it. (And Wave... most just aren't ready for the instantaneousness and complexity). But Google Me is a live project, a new social network​. This article says they are modeling it on Facebook, but I am hoping it feels less like the crowded bar scene that Facebook feels like, and more like a gathering of friends exchanging ideas. More like Google Reader with some Buzz elements and a crisper network. None of this massive profile data where they try to pinpoint everything I like and target me with that data. If they need to do more advertising, do it as somewhat-anonymously as mail and search ads on Google do, based on what I'm posting, and certainly don't network me automatically with people based on my activities (YES, that's what LIKING anything or even filing in your hometown does on Facebook.)

I want Google to hear this. I want them to know that I will be there if they do this. As many know, I'm not a person who is shy about my opinion, and I'm willing to put it out in public. I just don't have the energy to engage everyone and their mother about it, so stop trying to make me do that! Give me my voice back while allowing me to express my likes and dislikes. The fact that I have to choose is annoying is hell.


gnickers said...

Robyn, agreed! I hate the facebook games and app crap but it is very useful for keeping up with a widespread family.

While i have subscribed to professional groups on FB, i've never used them much or really at all.

So, is there room for a professional social tool as distinct from a personal social tool?

byn said...

Hey Gord. I honestly thought friendfeed would be it for pros potentially, and I saw several great tools being built around it for groups, but I think when Facebook bought hem out it took the wind out of the sails. The diehards are still there as far as I can tell. I still consume there, but I don't participate. I think LinkedIn is trying, and they seem to have some interesting things on their roadmap. They need to work on the consistency and simplicity of their interface. Like any more professionally-oriented conversations, you need more community and stewardship. It's hard to tolerate the fluidity and fad mode of Facebook groups in our pro or intellectual lives as much as we do in leisure. Not a lot of stewardship going on their either, but we just don't care as much during playtime. It's like a paradise for low attention span.