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What Google Buzz is trying to do, I guess, is providing a uniform view to different social products, including Google’s own product like Profiles, Picasa and Reader, as well as third-party product like Twitter. The idea is not bad, and not new.

My friends connect Buzz with their Twitter. And I’ve seen the effect, not bad. But I’m not going to do that. I’ve my own reason: I use different products to interact with differnt groups. They’re not nccessarily overlap completely.

That’s ok for Buzz. Since connecting with Twitter is optional. If I don’t want to do it, just don’t set it up.

But that leads to a potential challenging issue to Buzz: how shall we organize different groups for different products in this universal view? I don’t see a satisfactory solution yet.

Google Contacts supports groups, and can assign different groups with “Public” or “Private” label. That’s google’s solution by now. If I only want to share my buzz with restricted friends, I have to group them, and mark those groups with ‘Private’ label. Then buzz it in Private mode. That’s already a simple enough solution, though some might still find it confusing.  The grouping can not be further categorized to be product-specific, like ‘twitter-friends’, ‘twitter-strangers’, ‘picasa-freiends’. Even if it supports such features, there is still a usability issue. Nobody would like such complicated features.

I guess this is a common issue when you try to connect applications together.

In my optimal situation, both Buzz(or other central connected apps) and third-party apps have to work together to have a common user, group and access control  architecure. The API and the supported functions must be ready. But that’s easy said than done. Since both sides are independent entity. Buzz’s priority is never Twitter’s, and vice versa.

Categories: Tech, Web