Thursday, February 18, 2010

Google's latest inadequate Buzz patch - Profile deletion

Google claims to be trying to fix the Buzz Problem, but they're refusing to reduce the link between a public Google Profile and any Buzz activity.

For Google the public Profile is the great search prize. They won't give this one up easily.

So at the moment the only way to truly remove your public Buzz trail is to delete your Google Profile:
Edit your (Google) profile - delete profile:

... This will disable Google Buzz integration in Gmail and delete your Google profile and Buzz posts. It will also disconnect any connected sites and unfollow you from anyone you are following...
You can now do this from your Google Dashboard, from Profile settings, and possibly from the Buzz tab displayed in Gmail (which I no longer see).

There are side-effects to Profile deletion. It appears it will not only remove your Buzz followers, it will also remove your Google Reader followers. It may also remove your authentication with various connected sites and your Gmail OpenID credentials. It also removes any value attached to your Profile before Google attached the Buzz stream to it.

Google needs to do two things that they are extremely reluctant to do:
  • Near term: allow users to remove Buzz streams from the public profile.
  • Longer term: allow users to associate multiple Google Profiles with a single Google account and to control which ones ares associated with various Google properties, authentication and sharing services, etc.
Until they do these things, they have earned their new Gordon's Corporate Evil Scale score of '8' - average for a publicly traded company and in spitting distance of Microsoft's '10'.

Update 2/20/10: A week after I removed my full name from my Google Profile a search on my name still retrieves the profile and the few Buzz posts I've left undeleted. Quite a screw-up.

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