Let me tell you about my Buzz inbox. This morning I logged in to find 34 unread items. Here’s the inventory:
- 12 republished tweets that I’d already read on Twitter (many with @Twitter #syntax).
- 9 republished Google Reader items from people I want to be following in Google Reader.
- 5 republished Google Reader items from people I don’t want to be following in Google Reader.
- 3 republished tweets with Buzz-only conversations attached.
- 5 Buzz-only items, with conversations attached.
Let’s count Buzz’s crimes:
- Encourages users to import stream-of-thought feeds, and then treats it like an inbox with an unread-count.
- Assumes I want to cross my comment stream with my real email inbox (I didn’t by the way, but thanks for that).
- Forces my Google Reader following list and my Buzz following list to be the same and then mirrors content in both environments without mirroring behaviour (items marked read in one are not marked read in the other).
- In fact, combining #2 and #3 you end up being showed some content three times! Once in Google Reader, once in Buzz and again in your “Buzz you replied to” subscriptions.
- Forces incompatibility with an embrace and extend approach to other services (i.e. tweets with Buzz comments).
- Gives me no ability to filter out material from unwanted sources. It’s all or nothing with each person I follow.
Buzz at least allows me to mute individual posts, but guess what I don’t want to do? Play whack-a-mole with unwanted content. Buzz is a mess and most infuriatingly, it’s a mess with the occasional gem of interesting discussion amongst the slurry.
Hey Google, when you’re done fixing Buzz’s egregious privacy flaws, could you circle back around and take a look at the user experience? It’s so bad right now.