Monday, February 22, 2010

Google Gets Stung by Its Own Buzz

The week of Feb. 9, 2010, may go down as one of the worst in Google's corporate history in terms of product launches and public reaction. On that day, Google Buzz ( invaded every Gmail account holders' workspace through an auto-setup, opt-out routine. Other than widespread rumors of an announcement the day before, Gmail users had no warning that potentially highly personal information would suddenly be shared with their most-used contacts (email addresses) through cloud computing technology. Over the ensuing 7 days, Google weathered an angry online swarm of complaints that it had failed to account for personal privacy requirements. On Feb. 16, Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed that "the company misjudged public reaction to its decision to automatically load its Twitter, Facebook-like Buzz service into Gmail" (The Register, Feb. 17, Within the week, Google engineers also started tinkering with the Buzz settings, beginning on Feb. 11, the results of which were summarized by Gmail/Google Buzz product manager Todd Jackson in a Feb. 13 Gmail Blog post ("A new Buzz start-up experience based on your feedback,"

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