Nothing Profound   drive-by writing by bkkRon

Monday, February 15, 2010

Google's New Mission: Be (Very) Evil

Unfortunate that I felt I HAD to post, after nearly four years of not using blogger, to condemn that which I used to praise: Google.

Google Buzz is a Bust.

Because of Buzz, Google shows its evilness. There's just no denying it. No. Denying. It.

Other's agree. And others. And others. And others.

They're not possibly evil. They're evil. Their allegiance is ONLY to the bottom line. Not even necessarily to their shareholders, because this offering was not run by them before launching, and some of them (at least) disagree with Buzz's privacy handling. And I recognize that having allegiance to ONLY the bottom line is fine. Just fine, in business, actually. But it SHOULD NOT have been fine for Google with its mission of, "Don't be evil."

Now, of course they're going to backtrack and offer more privacy on Buzz in the coming days/weeks. But that doesn't fix everything either. Unless I log into Gmail one day soon and the service asks me to opt in to Buzz, many users will just ignore Buzz and continue using Gmail without changing any Buzz privacy settings. Without opting in, all Buzz connections should be disabled and Buzz turned off.

Meanwhile, some users will have "turned off Buzz" with the bottom link before making profile changes, meaning they are unknowingly still following, and being followed by, contacts that were setup as such by default. This is what I did last week, somewhat because I did not want to deal with it right away. But in the following days, I read a bit more about it and had to re-enable Buzz to stop following users, block others, delete my public profile, and turn it off again.

But beyond this messy launch of an attempt at forcing social networking on their now-more-than-unhappy-and-even-annoyed users, Google has shown its true self. And if any Google employees happen to be reading this, they're probably laughing, considering me another whiner. But that is not only sad, it's bad business. When Gmail launched, I told EVERYONE I KNEW what a superior email client it was, loved its ease of use and new bundling of email threads, and recommended it to all. However, they now created an enemy. I will no longer tell anyone to pick Gmail over another free email service, and I will warn everyone that if they do to, "Watch out!" Their meteoric rise through search has been good for business. Connecting dots (i.e., maps and pictures and blogs, etc.) has further benefited them. This Buzz fiasco shows their true colors and they could see a leveling off and slowing of their growth, or even a lessening of use over the coming months. Many who love Google hate Facebook. That's what Google seems to have missed.

Related to Google's evil tendencies of late is their deletion of blogs on grounds of misuse.

WARNING TO EVERYONE: STOP USING BLOGGER NOW. least BACK UP YOUR POSTS. That's what I do, even on my own blogs, which run on my own servers. I back up every post on my local hard drive, and then burn them to DVD once a month. I don't generally back up the comments I've received, but that's by choice and I know the risks.

As you'll see if you read the Guardian link above, some legitimate bloggers have had years of archives deleted because Google thought they violated terms of service. Jesus. And Christ.

And for GOD'S SAKE, DON'T USE Buzz for mobile! Unless you want to be stalked, raped, or discovered where exactly you're philandering, or going on your job interview.

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