Google Buzz: Think Before You Click

A lot of virtual ink has been spilled on Google Buzz since its rollout last week especially relating to privacy issues. Here is the Google team’s recent take:  Millions of Buzz users, and improvements based on your feedback and A new Buzz start-up experience based on your feedback:  On Saturday, Google announced some forthcoming changes via its Gmail blog:

For the tens of millions of you who have already started using Buzz, over the next couple weeks we’ll be showing you a similar version of this new start-up experience to give you a second chance to review and confirm the people you’re following.
Second, Buzz will no longer connect your public Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader shared items automatically. Just to be clear: Buzz only automatically connected content that was already public, so if you had previously shared photos in an “Unlisted” album or set your Google Reader shared items as “Protected,” no one except the people you’d explicitly allowed to see your stuff has been able to see it. But due to your feedback Buzz will no longer connect these sites automatically.

Third, we’re adding a Buzz tab to Gmail Settings. From there, you’ll be able to hide Buzz from Gmail or disable it completely. In addition, there will be a link to these settings from the initial start-up page so you can easily decide from the get go that you don’t want to use Buzz at all.

This may be a great idea for some, but it’s not for me.  If you want to skip this hassle after the Buzz splash screen (the one that says Check out Buzz and Nah, go directly to Gmail), select Nah … and go to your Gmail account.  Scroll down to the bottom of your Gmail page and click on “turn off Buzz.” Buzz should disappear from the left-hand side bar of your Gmail. For good measure, check that your Google profile is also configured to your desired privacy setting.    

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