March 18, 2010

A Very Strange Encounter & Social Media

Yesterday, my wife, son and I ate at a new restaurant in downtown Dallas called Fadis.  The food was fantastic!  Great Mediterranean food and the hummus – wow.  I was so impressed by the food that I took out my Android phone and opened up the Google Maps app and decided to try out this Google Buzz thing.  What happened next was quiet strange and yet very interesting.

First, I know what Buzz is, however, I didn’t know what Buzz did in public.  I had set all of my settings (I thought) to restrict my Buzzing to only my friends and family.  Well, apparently if you Buzz from GM, however, that goes out to the whole wide world to see. 

This morning, I had the following conversation with minor alterations to names:

ME – FADIS. Oh my lord that was awesome! 3001 Knox St, Dallas, TX 75205, USA 

2 people liked this – Derek Martin and Person 2

Person 2 – Love the Fadis. Was there a couple days ago. Welcome to creepy Google Buzz stalker land!

Me – Hi Jeron – yeah, Buzz is creepy, but that was worth sharing – the hummus was just insane!

Person 3 – Well, well if it isn’t my fellow owl, Person 2. Haha. Buzz buzz

Person 2 – Oh my god. Really Person 3? Do you know Derek? This buzz just got a lot creepier. Maybe Google really is on to something here.

Me – I’m sufficiently creeped out but it is nice to see another Person 3 with the correct spelling name spelling!

Person 3 – I was just perusing Google maps on my phone, clicked the bubble, and there ya were. Weird, creepy, and fascinating all at the same time. Lol

Me – I guess my only problem would be if the whole world could see my other ‘buzzes’ if they weren’t following me – oh wait – you can! haha

Person 2 – Ok, so two of us know each other, but we’re all here randomly — except Derek, who is now spontaneously being gang-buzzed by two fellows who graduated from high school together. Where were you when you saw the buzz bubble, Person 3?? Sorry Derek, I am so fascinated by this ridiculous social experiment Google has us running through like mice in a maze.

Me – That is so totally wild. Well, glad I was able to buzz two folks together from high school! haha It is an insane social experiment – way cool cause you two aren’t creeping me out but I can sure see how creepy people could take advantage of this concept.

Person 2 – I could be really creepy and suggest we all get together for hummus at Fadis. But I won’t. Haha. 😉


Social media is a very cool thing – probably the coolest trend that I can remember.  The likes of things like Gowalla and Foursquare are popular examples.  And it doesn’t take a mental giant to realize that Google really screwed up (by their own admission) in the rollout of Buzz and the obvious lack of basic privacy concepts.  I use gmail for work purposes.  Having Buzz integrated automatically into gmail was ‘okay’ but for a lot of people I can certainly see a problem.  But the power of the cell phone and the tight map integration – it is appealing, if not, as Person 2 and Person 3 agreed this morning – creepy.  Perhaps as these things mature some more, we’ll see some added privacy things.