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Buzz Off Google

February 12, 2010

Vista busy cursor Why on earth does Google think I want my main day to day email platform (Gmail) infected with social media? I use email to …. er, send and receive emails. Why would I want the normal flow of email messages to be lost among a load of twitteresque status updates and other social media frippery from people that I may have emailed in the past?

Email and social media belong in two different worlds.  They do not go together at all.  Email is purposeful;  you use it when you need to get something done or are dealing with important information you need to keep on record.  Social media is for transient casual entertainment and amusement.  A time-waster or time-filler when you are not in purposeful mode.  So the two should be kept well apart.

That’s not to say that I have a problem with social media.  Far from it.  But social media works best when everyone uses the same platform.  We already have Twitter and Facebook, and Facebook pretending to be Twitter. Google getting in on the act just risks fragmenting the social media space when what we need is integration.

Buzz is not for my benefit or yours.  It is Google’s play for a slice of the social media market, for its benefit. It’s to my disadvantage because it fragments social media and, because they are trying to do it by getting a leg-up from the success of Gmail, it threatens to adulterate what has up till now been a perfectly good email platform.

I’d rather Gmail stuck to email.  It has in the past been in the forefront of cloud-based email with helpful, innovative features such as conversation threading.  I wish Google had just focused on improving Gmail as an email tool by starting to introduce features from Google Wave instead.  Wave was supposed to be email reinvented for the modern age.  Well, right now it is heading for oblivion because no-one will make the jump and there is no way to get to critical mass. Better to give us Wave by transforming Gmail bit by bit until it looks like Wave, and keep the users on board.  And keeping me-too Twitter features out of it.

But if Google wants to start a social media war with Twitter and Facebook it can do it without messing up my email.

Kill the buzz, NOW!

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