The Fickleness of Social

Over the past couple days I have started to see an slight exodus of hearts and minds from Buzz users as life, its stresses and noise take time away from some folks engaging. I also see more and more of the folks I follow pimp other social networks like Miio, the new social messaging darling, as well. Some followers such as @Alfredo Abambres and @Larry Anderson are toning down their Buzz interactions altogether. The common thread among their reasoning, noise. Google stumbled out of the gate with Buzz and appeared to be getting its groove back, but a strange thing happen on the way to building this Gmail-only echo chamber. The rest of the web caught up and started to seduced the flock. Now I ain’t going anywhere anytime soon because I still find Buzz compelling and engaging, even if the noise is starting to make things a bit unbearable. @Alfredo Abambres and @Larry Anderson both brought valid concerns about trying to wade through the often flood of Google Reader post (I’m guilty of that too) and the constant unsolicited, unidentifiable followers (or Brad Pitt). They haven’t solved that problem obviously. And where is our curation by way of lists or groups?  I can’t do Larry’s blog post justice so check out a more detailed reasoning of why he is cutting back on Buzz.  Poor @Alfredo Abambres missed a vital communicate with one of his flock buried under all the junk. While an @ mention would have solved that problem, the lack of groups is puzzling. I can at least do some kind of curating in Twitter via lists. Hell even the upstart Miio can do this. There is little (or no intuitive) method of segregating groups of friends on Buzz. This is even stranger being that smart people within Google have described this very social norm of having different groups of friends online and offline in real-life (remember that). Paul, are you talking to the Google Buzz team?

This brings me to my overall point about all things “social”.  Social networks are faddish at best and have a tendency to be cliquey like real life. Human beings have a nasty habit of acting out its very nature.  Gone are the days of having the time to get the launch of a new social service right. No you see if you screw the pooch out of the gate and don’t iterate with one update a week your toast. Social platforms are filled with the fickle that want it to work now. Buzz was sticky at first then it became work for most of us. A constant stream of moving comments that make it hard to keep up (and I hate it when I am making a damn comment and the stream updates). As the amount of people increase their presence on Buzz the noise (and spam) increases are directly proportional. Lost in the stream were relevant comments of some importance that we don’t necessarily get in our inbox. Maybe this is simply a growing pain of an infant service. Maybe it’s early adopter leaving for something new perhaps. If the Google Buzz team doesn’t start addressing the noise issue soon you will see a lot more Alfredo’s and Larry’s leaving the service.

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