I am father, brother, in-law, son, and spouse. I am coach. I am volunteer. I am citizen and activist. I am a physician. I am an (adjunct) professor. I am an oddity in a large, conservative, publicly traded corporation. In the corporation I am a team member, known to some customers, occasionally publicly facing, known in various ways and various places. I have other roles and have had many more over time.
I am Legion. So are most middle-aged persons.
Only one person knows all the roles and all of the stories that are not excruciatingly boring (hi Emily).
Buzz is tightly linked to my Google Profile, and my Profile is trivially discoverable. I don’t want corporate HR or a customer or business partner to instantly know that I’m a commie pinko Obamafanboy with a dysfunctional Steve Jobs relationship.
We all have many roles, identities, avatars, personae, limited liability personae, characters, facets and so on. The problem with Buzz today is that it’s tied to the Google Profile, and that profile is the closest thing to my unified public face. It crosses boundaries. So it can only hold the limited information channels that are available to all.
Google gets some things right, and a ton of things wrong. They take a statistical, loosely-coupled, evolutionary approach to technology development (the exact inverse of Jobs the Intelligent Designer). I’m looking forward to where Buzz goes, but I’ll be cautious for a time. They can start by giving us more control over what aspects of the overall Buzz connection stream appear on our public profiles.
Update 2/11/10: More on the mess-up. Google really didn't think this through very well. They may end up feeding the families of a number of lawyers. I'm sure they weren't dumb enough to roll this out in the EU, but if they did the fines may be significant.