Like everyone else, I’m still trying to figure out the ins and outs of Buzz, but I made one discovery I wanted to tell other parents about ASAP—if your kid comments on one of your buzz posts, all your followers (as far as I can tell) can see that comment, even if they aren’t following your kid themselves. And it looks like you can only comment on buzz if you have made your Google profile public, so that means any other followers can click through to your child’s profile.
(Obviously this applies to any Buzz user, but I thought parents might be particularly concerned about their kids’ email privacy.)
If I’m understanding things correctly, you can follow people on Buzz (in Buzz? do we have grammar for this yet?) without making your Google Profile public. But in order to comment on (public) Buzz or write public Buzz yourself, you must make your Google Profile public. You may have done this automatically when you first clicked the Buzz link yesterday.
If I’ve got this wrong, please let me know and I’ll correct it. I tested it with Scott’s account—his Google Profile is private, and when I tried to comment on my account’s buzz from his account (you following this, LOL?), I got a pop-up saying he had to make his profile public in order to comment.
(Now, that was a PUBLIC buzz. Do you have to have a public profile to comment on a PRIVATE buzz?)
So okay, you know I love me my social media, but I love my kids’ email privacy even more. If your kids want to be able to Buzz, it might be a good idea to encourage minimalist profiles for them. Especially since, as I understand it, Buzz is going to be searchable via Google.
Oh, and in case you don’t know, you can turn Buzz off (and back on) by clicking a tiny link at the bottom of your gmail screen.
More to come as we continue to figure Buzz out. I do like the threaded conversations, but my first response to Buzz is that it’s too pushy. I love Twitter and Facebook, as you know, but I like having to make the extra effort to click there. My gmail inbox is already an overwhelming presence—I don’t know that I want MORE stuff in it. However, buzz can be filtered into folders like other gmail, so that can help cut down on inbox clutter at least.
UPDATED: In addition to having your kids keep their profiles either private (but then they can’t post or comment on public buzz) or very bare bones, with no personal info, you might also want to take a look at your own Google profile. The default setting publicly displays lists of everyone you follow, and everyone who follows you. And when you first activate buzz, these follower/followee lists are made up of 1) the people you follow/are followed by in Google Reader and 2) the email contacts you write most often. (!) So if you don’t want your Aunt Effie to know you’re g-chatting daily with her arch-enemy, your Aunt Prunella, you might want to uncheck those boxes.
(Or you could just ditch Buzz altogether. There is that.)
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