NEWS FROM THE LAB - Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google's Buzz, there is no such thing as bad publicity... Posted by Sean @ 14:25 GMT

Google BuzzWould somebody please tell us why there's so much hype regarding privacy issues and Google Buzz?

Buzz integrates into Gmail… an e-mail service that reads (i.e. analyzes) your messages in order to target you with more specific ads, right? We recall objections being made about this analysis when Gmail launched. Has everyone forgotten this? Isn't this just the same tune being played once again?

Is anyone really that surprised that Google so aggressively rolled out automatic sharing features to Buzz?

It seems to us like a win-win situation. Either Google launches Buzz, to minimal objections, or else, they receive a great deal of free publicity while they "fix" the reported privacy issues. Google's launch of Buzz certainly created notable buzz in the press.

That's ultimately important for the search giant because unless they encourage sharing from their own services, they'll be losing out on future revenues to providers such as Facebook.

In fact, Facebook is already the world's largest news reader according to hitwise. It should not go without mention that Facebook's recent homepage update moved their search field towards the center of the screen. It's all connected.

Sharing is tomorrow's search and the players are beginning to battle it out. Your privacy is at stake, if you let it be. It's a trade off folks. You don't get to use free services and expect to get absolute privacy. Either you offer up some of your information for enhanced services, or you don't.

Remember, Google isn't your friend. It's a business.

If you really need privacy, use something else besides Gmail (and other free web based solutions). Some folks actually pay for their e-mail services, you can get something more secure for something like $20 a year, and that's cheap when you think about it.