So in the last year I count Google at two strikes. First off Wave is… pretty useless, as it turns out. The one place it would be great — collaboration and ad hoc interest groups — don’t really work so well, primarily for performance reasons. Try loading a wave with 300 entries sometimes. It’s im-fucking-possiblly slow.
Google Buzz is another whiff. I don’t really care about the privacy issues, because I don’t regard GMail as being private. Like any other part of society outside of sitting in the dark in a Faraday cage, it isn’t private unless no one cares.
What bothers me about it is that it looks clumsy. It tells me I have new stuff and if I look at the buzz list, I can’t actually see what’s new. It also tries to aggregate things like Twitter and Google Reader, but provides a vastly inferior presentation. So I end up going back to Twitter or Google Reader to see what’s up. Which means Buzz is just redundant.
At this point, Google has a significant percentage of the smartest programmers and designers on the planet working for them, and lately they’ve been turning out clumsy crap. What’s up with that? I’m so into GMail and Google Reader to organize my online life — they’re pretty much exactly what I need and nothing more. Google Docs means I don’t even have to screw with installing a word processor on my machines.
But when Google fucks up, they put both feet in. Remember before Google Personalized Home Pages started to suck? I’d give them my constructive feedback and criticism, but I’ve never gotten any acknowledgement from them when I’ve tried to contact them about anything, so they might as well be inside a black hole. A black hole that spews internet applications.