The ongoing fiasco that is Google Buzz sure is fun to watch from an armchair position.  I have no love for Google, and yet another stumble in the social media world just underscores how little they understand it.

Ultimately, of course, it’s just disappointing.  Watching Google try to remake FriendFeed is really sad.  It makes me long for the days of FriendFeed (the old FriendFeed, before they moved to real-time).  That service got it right, and Google has learned nothing from them.

One has to ask, why in the world is Google even doing this?  Are they that desperate to build a social media application?  Clearly they don’t have the in-house talent or understanding to get social right, and should really be focused on acquiring social companies.  Of course, their track record on social acquisitions has been abysmal (Dodgeball anyone?).

Facebook bought FriendFeed, but they’ve essentially left it to languish and die.  FriendFeed’s biggest problem was it’s lack of community: people just didn’t flock to it like the other big networks.  Although the site itself was doing quite well, and would have continued to do well, it wasn’t “blowing up the world” like the founders wanted.  It was successful, but not successful enough.

Google, of course, could fix all that by forcing people to use a new social media service (which, essentially, they did with Buzz).  That solve’s the community issue FriendFeed had, though Google unfortunately stumbled everywhere else.  It’s a shoddy service, it has clear usability issues, the designers made odd choices in how it operates, and all sorts of other issues.

I don’t know if Google will eventually shut down Buzz, or try to make it usable.  They definitely have a long road ahead of them if they aren’t planning on shutting it down though.

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