Photo credit: ElDave (Flickr)

My little Google Buzz voting experiment broke 20,000 votes this weekend (story on ReadWriteWeb). As of now 1,390 people have submitted 487 ideas and cast 21,218 votes (some ideas are duplicates, sadly there is no way to merge them). Thanks to everyone who has participated!

Below is a short summary of the feedback. It’s not meant to be objective and you should feel free to create your own breakdown (anybody out there specializing in survey analysis?) I tried to take into account the most actively voted topics while also including less popular fixes that I consider important.

I. Clean the stream

  1. Hide comments by default (use notifications & hints—see Jaiku/Friendfeed)
  2. Don’t re-order the stream when new comments are added to posts
  3. Allow clicking posts to expand/collapse threads inline
  4. Remove dupes
  5. Allow unsubscribing from specific sources

II. Stop ruining my Inbox

  1. Don’t put notifications about new comments in my Inbox unless the comment is directly addressed to me or in a thread that I explicitly subscribed to
  2. Make Mute a clearly visible button
  3. Better filtering: e.g. allow sorting search results by # of likes & comments
  4. Don’t show the same faces more than once in New Followers
  5. Stop showing unread count in sidebar (this is not email)

III. Better public conversation

  1. Block trolls straight from comments
  2. Add autosuggest popup to @-replies in non-Gmail UIs (mobile & Profile)
  3. Include previous commenters in the @-reply suggestions
  4. Enable Re-buzzing
  5. Make it possible to like & link to comments

IV. Leverage Gmail & Mobile features that rock

  1. Add starring of posts and comments
  2. Add Nearby tab to desktop (currently mobile only)
  3. Allow location tagging of desktop posts (currently mobile only)
I’ve excluded the API-related feedback (including third party feeds) from this summary since I wanted to focus on improvements to the current feature set and the API hasn’t been launched yet. The API will have a huge impact on the Buzz ecosystem because it’ll allow content to flow in and out of Buzz and third parties to build alternative UIs. Developers should join the Buzz API discussion group.


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Dennis Koks
February 22nd, 2010 at 7:43 pm (#)

Appreciating the fact that you guys are really on top of it and are making improvements at such a high rate. I believe that has been key to the survival of Buzz in it’s first critical weeks.

I’d love to see all the things you’ve mentioned above implemented in Buzz. I believe they’ll really improve things.

Good Luck!

February 22nd, 2010 at 7:58 pm (#)

Dennis, I’m not at Google, I just set up the voting site. I agree that Buzz can be really useful with a few tweaks. FWIW the activity on the voting site took me completely by surprise, I really didn’t expect more than a few people to care. 20,000 votes is enough to warrant genuine consideration. Let’s hope Google pays attention and keeps improving Buzz based on the feedback.

February 22nd, 2010 at 8:12 pm (#)

Googler Dewitt Clinton posted a handy resource for reaching Google with your Buzz feedback.

peter cowan
February 22nd, 2010 at 9:14 pm (#)

great list. the only thing missing that has been bothering me is that there is no default contacts group dynamically updated to include only your followers.

February 22nd, 2010 at 9:17 pm (#)

I love Google Buzz, but have a lot of problems….
Look to my situation, I have a slow computer more exactly Amd Athlon 2200 + with 1 Gb of memory RAM. I using Google Chrome because is fastest browser and doesn’t consume to many resources…
I have 7000 persons I watch and when I press Buzz button, messages just appears to many in a to short time, that makes problems for my PC !
I want a button to dezactivate “auto” comming messges.

You think our votes will be see it by Google Employers ?

February 22nd, 2010 at 10:26 pm (#)

Eric, suffice to say I have a lot of faith in Googlers :)

Thomas Hawk
February 22nd, 2010 at 10:29 pm (#)

Thanks for putting this great feedback mechanism out there.

Great work!

Michael Zelbel Photography Instructions
February 24th, 2010 at 9:29 am (#)

Wow, 20000 votes! Mindblowing! It shows that Buzz is very interesting for a lot of people. Being a photographer, I really like how photo-friendly buzz already is. I even posted a video tutorial on how to setup google buzz for photographers, so that they can easily distribute their photos without having more work:
However, after posting that I got aware of the privacy issues that buzz still has and I wonder if I should add a warning to my blogpost. I mean, it is likely that photographers use their Gmail account to communicate with their clients. Do they want to expose their clients in their profile? Most likely not. Addressing the privacy issues I would considder a top priority for Google. However, the features that you listed above would be just awesome. I think Google should take a close look at Friendfeed and mimic their filtering – that would rock!

March 4th, 2010 at 12:05 am (#)

Google has now set up an official Product Ideas voting site at

The unofficial voting site now links to the official one.

It’s a shame that the ideas and votes are being duplicated but there appears to be no way to merge series on Google Moderator.

Thanks to everyone who participated for posting your ideas and voting!

mike bradshaw
March 6th, 2010 at 12:14 pm (#)

thanks for taking the time to wade through all that feedback.

I agree with all of the point except one – the rebuzz idea.
While this is useful in twitter (helps finds the nuggets of signal in all the noise), I would see this just adding more noise to buzz.
My guess is that got voted in by people who have only ever used twitter and not the more sophsticated services like Jaiku & friendfeed.

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