March 30, 2010

Google Buzz Now Explains Why Messages Hit Your In Box

As promised in a note a little over two weeks ago on controlling Buzzed items entering your in box, the Google Buzz team is now explaining why posts are making their way into your Gmail. For people watching the new social service closely, this is a welcome, albeit small, help, especially as seeing the same items appear repeatedly - following new updates - could get tiresome.

While some are debating the perceived success (or lack thereof) of Buzz, and whether it is seeing engagement, it's no surprise that like most social networks, active people are rewarded with more activity. Engage, and others will engage with you - just like on Facebook, FriendFeed, Twitter or anywhere else. But the more I (and others) would participate, the more posts would be delivered to my in box from Buzz. Now, I can just peek at the latest, and see the most recent comment that bumped it to my attention, rather than scrolling all the way to the bottom to get caught up, as was the previous way.

One Buzz Item's Explanation (via a Linda Lawrey Comment)

In the same note, posted March 11th, the Google Buzz team promised settings to control what items hit your in box (which are live in GMail now), the aforementioned explanations, and a "mute" link to stop further comments from getting to your in box. The mute button's not there yet, so far as I can tell, but we can expect that is coming soon - given the appearance of the other promised features.

Buzz Inbox Control In Your Gmail Preferences

On another note, I have already seen people publicly comment on the perceived slowness of innovation from the Buzz team relative to expectations. Without making excuses for them, making change at the scale of Google is proving to be hard. As the team wrote in their March 11th post, they need to make sure these features work across all 50+ Gmail languages, and as I was told at SXSW, "Gmail code is sacrosanct" and nobody wants to increase latency or worse... downtime. With Buzz and GMail being intertwined for now, we can expect movement forward to be with caution.

You can, of course, find me on Buzz here: