Everyone knows by now all the buzz about Google's Buzz - the privacy concerns. But now, Google is getting out the word that they're listening to all the critics and working to revamp the site.
In today's paper, Bridget and I wrote about how everyone had responded to the new social network by freaking out about all the privacy concerns. Over the weekend, Google announced its second change to the service since it was launched the Tuesday before. In a blog post on Saturday entitled "A few start-up experience based on your feedback", Product Manager Todd Jackson said Google heard feedback "loud and clear'' from the "tens of millions of people'' using Buzz.
Instead of pre-populating your follower list automatically, it has become a suggestion. Google also has changed its options that autoconnect to sites like public Picasa Web albums, and Google Reader, its handy Blog aggregator.
Spokeswoman Victoria Katsarou told me in an email that the Google team has been working at all hours, including all weekend, to address the concerns.
Jackson's also making making more media rounds to address the issues: in today's Wall Street Journal, he said the company's testing of Buzz with employees before the launch hadn't been sufficient. He told the Journal: "Getting feedback from 20,000 Googlers isn't quite the same as letting Gmail users play with Buzz in the wild. We needed to launch to the public and get feedback from users."
Even with the concession, we think it's a good reminder as networks further integrate to pay attention to how your information is being used. In the case of Google, many people probably had public profiles they forgot about, because it didn't matter -- until now.
The lesson here is that if you ever signed up for any service online, pay attention to what's public or not. It's in your best interests to stay informed about updates they're doing, because changes might draw further attention to your information.
In the meantime, Bridget and I are on the fence about the product itself. We like some of it - especially the video and picture features. While we think there is potential, we're feeling a bit, well, underwhelmed. What do you think?