Google Buzz makes me nervous.
Not because it is yet another social media channel that I don’t need (am I turning into an old codger?) but by the fact that is was basically built in to my google ecosystem without my permission and with no way to disable it other than deleting my Google profile. Buzz can be turned off from your gmail, no longer giving you updates (which I’ve done by the way, don’t try to find me there) but there is no way to actually disable it.
The reason I’m nervous about this is that I’ve always loved Google. I use the search engine ravenously, I have gmail, I use iGoogle in my classroom. I use Google docs as one of my own personal applications and push it heavily in my classroom as a tool of choice. I’ve switched to Chrome lately as a browser. This is a company on the move, developing web applications for the hyperconnected folks like me who rely on a host of low cost (or no cost) web services. I’ve seen this as a model and tried to push the students in my classroom to realize the power of the connections that are possible.
But now I’m left wondering if the emperor has no clothes…..?
Nothing Google offers are open source applications of course. They never have been. While the price has been right for teachers like me with basically no budget to use on their classrooms, I am now beginning to question the “cost” of these tools. The data that is collected about what is being searched for, the data that is being collected about tool use patterns. Google Buzz has damaged my relationship with Google. it has made me question my relationship with the company. And in times like these, where relationships are all important, I’m given pause.