Let’s face it: less than a week into the game, the shortcomings of Google Buzz are crippling its use. Even proponents are critical of the platform. As Robert Scoble put it, “They made some horrid mistakes.”
Nonetheless people (even Robert!) want it to succeed. Massively. The web is overflowing with calls to fix Buzz.
Google must react at lightning speed. But what can busy engineers do to draw signal from the jumble of rants and raves scattered across the web?
The Gmail help center is a dead end. The Suggest a Feature page contains nothing Buzz-related. The list of Known Issues has two entries.
As a quick solution, I set up an unofficial How to Fix Google Buzz series on Google Moderator. Anyone can participate by adding ideas and voting them up or down. I seeded it with Scoble’s “12 worst features Buzz copied from Friendfeed.”
It has now been live 24 hours, so let’s see if the experiment worked.
- How many ideas have been submitted? 209.
- How many votes have been cast? 7,016.
Not bad considering it took about 5 minutes to set up.
Here are the top 10 requests:
- “Provide a way to hide all comments until I want to see comments” (205 votes)
- “Filter by content type. (i.e. don’t show me twitter from anyone, or for a specific user)” (174 votes)
- “If I read comments in Buzz mark them as read in Google reader and vice-versa” (162 votes)
- “Provide a way to group friends into lists. Lack of this makes using Buzz with more than small groups very frustrating” (143 votes)
- “Let me see all the likes by a single person. Over on FriendFeed I can see what Mike Arrington has liked, or commented on. I can’t do that in Google Buzz” (128 votes)
- “Add comment moderation. It should be possible to block people right from comments (like on FriendFeed)” (111 votes)
- “I’d love to see Gmail filters applied to Buzz. Keep most of the keyword based filters that are available on Gmail filters but add new ones like Number of Comments, Number of Likes, etc. Actions should include Mute for hiding noisy threads” (99 votes)
- “A collapsed list view like what’s available in Google Reader” (97 votes)
- “Duplicate posts filter / grouping. So I don’t have to scroll past / see all those duplicate Reader shares. e.g. Of Mashable stuff” (92 votes)
- “Introduce lists (like in Twitter) to Buzz” (92 votes)
Note that #10 duplicates #4. Too bad Google Moderator doesn’t have a way to merge entries (feature request!)
Feel free to add in your votes and ideas.