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February 19, 2010

Google Buzz Reduces Power Users' Bumpage

Being a top Google Buzz user, or even engaging with one, has come with some assumed disadvantages, as one of the product's built-in features has been to highlight activity on a feed by bumping active items to the top. For users with a few dozen followers, this is fantastic and keeps their feed moving. But for those with a few thousand, it can seem like they are "dominating" the discussion, and I've even seen people say they are unfollowing said "popular" folks for this very reason. As of this evening, that problem is being lessened.

Using the Buzz service as their blog, the official Google Buzz Team account said quickly:
"If you're following someone with a ton of followers, you're probably used to seeing their posts at the top of your stream all the time, since we've been bumping them back up with every new comment. Starting a few hours ago, we made some changes to not bump them up as often."
With about 2,200 connections, and some active participants who have been used to acting on my feeds from Google Reader and FriendFeed, I have seen the consequences of this multiple times, and it's been among the major sources of pain for the young service.

So, if you unfollowed me, it just might be safe to come back. If you were scared to make a comment, for fear your in box would be abused, don't hold back. You can get connected here: http://www.google.com/profiles/louisgray. It's probably also safe to refollow Pete Cashmore, Robert Scoble, Jason Calacanis or Kevin Rose again too, so go nuts.

While not all folks are fans of Buzz, the team has made a lot of visible changes in an action-packed two weeks. To me, that bodes well for their future development, and today's move aids the signal to noise ratio once again.