The premise of Google Buzz seems logical and promising — use the contacts and message patterns in Gmail to map a social cloud and create a Facebook-like environment where each user’s social sphere enters the email space. In addition, extend the Twitter “@” protocol so that @firstname.lastname@example.org puts the message in the recipient’s email box and their Buzz cloud.
My first experience with Google Buzz emerged on Facebook, where Gmail users were complaining about the apparently unwelcome features and interface clutter Buzz introduced.
A major assumption in Buzz is that the people you email frequently are the same ones you want to follow or have follow you. As ReadWriteWeb notes, that’s a huge and potentially incorrect assumption.
I tend to mix social and professional activities in my email. Facebook doesn’t impose a social expectation on me, while it seems Buzz might — that is, every interaction is interpreted as social when it might be just about getting work done.
There have also been complaints about privacy flaws, mainly that Buzz makes all your network visible to anyone visiting your profile, letting them know who you email. That’s enough to make anyone nervous. It’s also not exactly an opt-in service, another complaint.
Will social media and email be a match made in heaven? I’m skeptical. I haven’t used it, and I probably won’t.
How about you? Any users out there?