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:

  1. “Provide a way to hide all comments until I want to see comments” (205 votes)
  2. “Filter by content type. (i.e. don’t show me twitter from anyone, or for a specific user)” (174 votes)
  3. “If I read comments in Buzz mark them as read in Google reader and vice-versa” (162 votes)
  4. “Provide a way to group friends into lists. Lack of this makes using Buzz with more than small groups very frustrating” (143 votes)
  5. “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)
  6. “Add comment moderation. It should be possible to block people right from comments (like on FriendFeed)” (111 votes)
  7. “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)
  8. “A collapsed list view like what’s available in Google Reader” (97 votes)
  9. “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)
  10. “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.


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Ron K Jeffries
February 17th, 2010 at 2:00 am (#)

The process yielded an intelligent list. Kudos for setting up the Google Moderator site to help organize the chaos.

Maybe Google should hire you? Wait, they just allowed you to leave. So much for Google being an ultra smart company.

Good luck with whatever you do next. I am not buying your “early retirement” story. ;)

February 17th, 2010 at 2:09 am (#)
February 17th, 2010 at 2:45 am (#)

Ron, don’t blow my cover! :)

February 17th, 2010 at 2:46 am (#)

Good list, Marco. If you can, see that all those make it up onto the Moderator instance!

Chris Messina
February 17th, 2010 at 5:31 am (#)

For what it’s worth, we’re also accepting bug and feature requests for the Buzz API here:


Thanks for setting up the Moderator forum too — turns out most of the things I voted for made the top 10 list! ;)

February 17th, 2010 at 6:35 am (#)

My number one suggestion:
1. Shut it down.
2. Appologize for publishing people’s private social graph to the world.
3. Test it properly.
4. Relaunch with opt-in process not opt-out.
5. Don’t be evil.

February 17th, 2010 at 6:35 am (#)

I’m sure Google will appreciate your list. I doubt they meant to launch a full-featured system – they probably wanted to wait and see how people might use it.

Dror Orbach
February 17th, 2010 at 8:12 am (#)

I applaud the idea, speed of execution and result! I guess Google figured it’s best to start the buzz around Buzz with the bare minimum functionality, and to then be seen to listen and react based on audience input.

February 17th, 2010 at 8:28 am (#)

I want the stumble upon linkage to buzz.. when even i like something on stumble upon it needs to be reflected on the buzz. i don’t see this integration anywhere be it face-book or orkut.. I found this site through SU only.. I agree with ur comments and think some are already implemented..

February 17th, 2010 at 9:58 am (#)

I suggested implementing hashtags, and while many agreed with me, suprisingly many also disagreed: http://www.google.com/moderator/#8/e=4cd8&v=24

I’d really like to know why? For the future of social media, it’s extreamly important to be able to get as much metadata about the content as possible (to be able to filter them properly), and tags are very important for this purpose.

February 17th, 2010 at 10:18 am (#)

Google just want to get its hands in everything. Sometimes it really gets annoying.
Buzz is mixture of all social networking sites in your gmail account.
And as for the points, I totally agree with them.
I think they should make the improvements.

Steven Thurgood
February 17th, 2010 at 10:46 am (#)

Metadata should be out of band, not in band. Tagging of some form would be nice, though.

February 17th, 2010 at 4:02 pm (#)

My #1 wish for Buzz: Let us be able to comment on any Google Reader item in Buzz!!!

Sue Anne
February 21st, 2010 at 10:02 am (#)

It seems really silly that many of the features that already exist in popular Google products were not integrated in the initial roll out of Buzz. But, Google as a history of this. Is Sidewiki available in Chrome yet?

Laura Annerley
May 11th, 2010 at 4:57 am (#)

Serious question – what is a Google buzz?

May 20th, 2011 at 9:18 pm (#)

very nice thanksss

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