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The New York Times publishes an article this week that amounts to a manual for Buzz users. Here we collect some of the points that help us to become more familiar with this new Google social service.
Buzz is a social network that in many respects imitates Twitter and Facebook, except that it designs the user's social connections based on the people with whom he communicates through Gmail; a clear shortcut for Google, which has not been very successful in getting people to join Orkut, its other social network.
Buzz lets you post comments that people on the user's network can read; or give buzzes to which they can react. In a box that resembles a speech bubble, the user can write clever missives and post links to web content, including Google services such as Picasa and YouTube. To access the service, just click on the link called Buzz that Google has added under the "Received" link.
Initially, Buzz automatically connected users to their email contacts, but in the wake of the uproar he's now asking who they want to "follow." All you have to do is click on “Find friends” and a pop-up window opens with a box showing the user's main contacts, and the user can choose to follow or ignore each of them. If these people have created profiles, you can click on their name and see things like jokes with your Buzz friends and colleagues, status messages added to Gmail, and Twitter posts.
Personal data that is exposed
The most sensitive information Buzz can expose is the identity of users' email contacts. Note that the names of a user's followers and the people they follow on Buzz are public, unless steps are taken to make the list private. Google has recently updated Buzz to facilitate this change, but the default option is still to share the list with everyone.
The user's profile on Buzz is also public and therefore visible to the entire Internet, so it is not advisable to add private information (for example, anything that answers a secret question related to online banking accounts or that may be from helps identity thieves).
As with Facebook, when posting content on Buzz, you have the option of making it public, private, or visible to a group of people. Google has created some predefined groups that the user can use, such as colleagues, family and friends, but it is also possible to create custom ones.
It is also possible to block people who are annoying or annoying, by clicking "block" next to their name in the list of followers or in their profiles. That will remove them from the list, keep the user's comments out of your conversation thread, and prevent them from making comments in the user space and following you again.
Manage the data displayed in Buzz
Google also came under fire for complex privacy controls and a hard-to-find kill switch. Since then, it has made some improvements and more promises, including a new section that will be available in the next few days on the Gmail settings page and from where it can be completely hidden or disabled. For now, the user controls are accessed by clicking the "Edit" link next to the username.
There you will find a fundamental configuration option: "Show the list of people I follow and who follow me". To keep followers and people being followed private, uncheck the box. The same option is also found at the bottom of the window that appears when you click on "Follow X people" or "Find friends."
The user can also choose not to display their name, which will prevent their profile from being found through search queries.
To delete a Buzz profile, delete all posts made and disable the service completely, go to the bottom of the page and click on the link "disable Buzz" to access the configuration page. Once there, choose the red option "Disable Google Buzz." Do not forget to press "Save changes" before exiting.
On the edit page of the profile you can also add personal information that you want to share and connect the Buzz profile with other Google services, such as Picasa and Reader, as well as with external services such as Flickr (from Yahoo) or Twitter. The user can also choose that people can contact him through Buzz without having access to his email address.
Source: New York Times