Kudos to Google; after a lukewarm reception and provoking privacy concerns, Google have stepped up and made some quick changes to their new Buzz social tool. The most substantial change is making it possible to easily and visibly add your Buzz contacts to your public Google profile (if you have one); they’ve also made is easier to see who is and isn’t going to appear if you use a public profile to share your Buzz, and the ability to block people is easier, too (which is important since Google auto-creates your initial Buzz contact list).
Buzz has a long way to go before it’ll compete with other popular micro-blogging services, or Facebook, but Mashable has a useful feature request list and they do note for a service getting so much flack, Buzz had already had 9 million items of content created or shared (“meaning that it’s getting over 160,000 comments and posts per hour”). Perhaps buzzing will join tweeting in our social media vocabulary soon.
Of course, if you’re completely over all this buzzing about Buzz, you’ll probably enjoy this:
Update (Feb 14): Only four days after Buzz was launched, Google are already making a second round of feature changes to address the massive privacy backlash to the original launch. Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis is pondering why Buzz was one of the few Google products to skip the beta phase but for those of you sticking with, or at least testing out, Buzz, Google Operating System has a good list of useful but not-so-visible Buzz features you’ll want to know about.