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Google Buzz: The Missing Features

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  • Make it easier to find friends and interesting people and don’t assume that my Google Contacts are the people I want to follow: Google assumes that your social network is easily accessible from your Google Contacts, but for a lot of people who use their Gmail account mostly for work or to talk to their families, Google Contacts isn’t representative of who they would want to follow on a FriendFeed/Facebook-like service. Google says that it plans to surface items from outside of your contacts that it thinks will be interesting to you, but we have yet to see these on Buzz.

  • Lists: Twitter has lists, Facebook has lists, FriendFeed has lists and Buzz should have lists, too. Sometimes, you just want to see updates from your family and sometimes you just want to see what the bloggers you follow on Buzz are saying. Google could just integrate with with Google Contacts (though maybe that just leads to other problems).

  • Better Filters: Some people love to share Google Reader posts, others tweet like there is no tomorrow. Google will pull all of these messages into your stream and as of now, you can’t tell Buzz to just selectively ignore all Google Reader posts from one person or all the tweets of another without unfollowing all the messages from this person. According to Google, Buzz will automatically weed out posts you are likely to skip. For now, it doesn’t seem like it is doing this yet.

  • Speed up imports from third-party services: Currently, it can take quite a while before buzz pulls in tweets and shared items from Google Reader. Given how much emphasis Google is putting on the real-time aspect of Buzz, it would be nice if these updates came in a lot faster. Also, because Google seems to import updates in batches, you often get a huge number of tweets or Google Reader shares from one person that takes up most of the space on Buzz.

  • Support more third-party services: You can only connect Buzz to a handful of third-party services like Flickr, Twitter and Google Reader. If your Google Profile contains the right links to other services like Yelp, it can also pull this data in as well if you follow these directions. It would also be nice if Google detected more video services when you attach a link to a post. Right now, it will show YouTube videos (and also Flickr photos) when you attach a link, but not videos from DailyMotion or Vimeo.

  • buzz_location_iphone_small.jpgDon’t clutter our inboxes with new buzzes: By default, Buzz puts notifications about updates and new messages into your Gmail inbox. By the time you follow more than 20 active Buzz users, this can quickly clog up your inbox and drown out your regular email conversations. We shouldn’t have to create a special filter with a relatively arcane command (label:buzz) to banish these messages.

  • Allow mobile users to set fuzzy locations: As of now, you can either give your followers access to your exact location or not attach any location data to your messages at all. It would be nice if you could just set a town or neighborhood as your location so that you can share where you are, while still keeping your precise location private.

What Else is Missing?

Obviously, Google Buzz is just a day old, so it’s only normal that there are still some bugs in the system and that the user experience could use some polishing. If you have used Buzz already, what features do you miss? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by wesley83

February 10, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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