Google is paying attention to the complaints

A quick update to my post the other day: Google posted yesterday that they have made a lot of changes in the past few days. At a quick glance, they appear to have addressed most of the complaints I’ve been hearing: no more auto-following, no more auto-linking to Picasa, an easy one-click “Get rid of Buzz” option.

I’m actually pretty impressed at the quick turnaround: most companies would be caught flat-footed for weeks by this mess, so dealing with it in just a few days while the crisis is still erupting is well-done. (It’s the sort of thing I expect from small startups, but not from large firms.)

We’ll see how much damage is already done, but they at least seem to be making a sincere attempt to grapple with the problems…

ETA: I may have spoken a bit too quickly.  Reading the Google post more carefully, it appears that they are working on the quick option to get rid of Buzz, but haven’t rolled it out yet.  (Thanks to Anna, who pointed out that it hasn’t yet shown up in Settings.)

4 Responses to “Google is paying attention to the complaints”

  1. Eric Says:

    Your page is linked to the Gmail page, so I should point out that there is still no “Get Rid of Buzz” option. As of this writing, it is still necessary to block following [people] or being followed. The tab on the Gmail settings for Buzz has yet to appear. Google’s verb tense is weird: “Third, we’re adding a Buzz tab to Gmail Settings.” Well, when? Until I can get an easy total divorce from Buzz without going to Las Vegas, it is all spin!

  2. Roger Bailey Says:

    I don not know if anyone else is having this problem. Every time I click on a google labeled operation I get a warning that the google page-(email or Igoole most of the time) that the site may be a dangerous site to visit because of a security certificate problem. I have been a user of Google products for several years and not had any problems. I would like to believe that every Google function I click onto is safe and free of virus problems. However it is quite unnerving when the google function I try to migrate to is blocked until I click on a button, which states not recommended, to allow me access to the google function I want.

    Thank you for your attention to my problem

  3. Justin Says:

    @Roger I can’t help you directly, I’m afraid — I’m not involved with Google myself, and haven’t seen that particular error.

    I *can* tell you that the error doesn’t mean that the site has a virus: instead, it means that your browser isn’t convinced that you’re actually talking to Google. The way secure Web pages like Gmail are built, you don’t just get the webpage when you go to it — the browser also gets a “security certificate”, which is essentially proof of identity of the website.

    The error you describe isn’t terribly unusual for smaller sites: the security certificates cost real money, and small sites sometimes just fake one, or accidentally let theirs lapse. (The certificates are only good for a limited period of time.) But it’s very odd to get such an error from a large corporation like Google, which are usually very careful about such things.

    So I’m honestly not sure what the problem is. It’s likely just a technical glitch of some sort — it’s fairly hard for a hacker to intrude on secure communications like Gmail. But I’d strongly recommend making sure that your anti-virus software is up to date: if something *is* wrong, it’s more likely to be on your computer than at Google.

    (One side possibility: which browser are you using? I know that Google is dropping support for Internet Explorer 6 sometimes around now — it’s ancient by Internet standards, and very hard to support. I suppose it’s *possible* that, if you’re using IE6, this could be a side-effect of that change…)

  4. Justin Says:

    @Eric Yep, and I’ve amended the post accordingly. I’m ruefully amused by Google’s poor crisis-management on this one: they really needed to word that more carefully, as something like, “By next Wednesday, this feature will be available”, rather than the vagueness they’ve been giving…

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