Sunday, February 14, 2010

Searching Stale Buzzed

The timeline of my relationship with Buzz was rather a short one:
Why did I opt out of Buzz? Well, (perhaps rather unsurprisingly) it's an issue that concerns search. Consulting the Buzz site provides me with the information that Buzz is, Meer dan alleen statusberichten: Updates, foto's, video's en meer delen. (Eng. "Not only status messages: Share updates, photos, videos and more"). Sharing stuff with my friends and family is nice, but what if I want to go back and find this stuff later? How will it be indexed? Will I be able to find it, but date, location, keyword, tag? Can they find it? Is there a mechanism for "forgetting"? (If I don't want the option of going back to re-live every Valentine's Day of my past, for example.) What will the cross-lingual search support be like? (The site has made a lucky guess that I speak Dutch, but my sharing will likely be in a mixture of languages...Will it cross languages to reach my followers?)

There's no readily available information on any of these issues. It's all about Buzz, with no vision of what's going to happen with the large amounts of previously Buzzed that will enevitably accumulate. I don't want to be tempted into Buzzing into what, without effective search and browinsing technology, basically is huge void. I'd better keep on simply printing out pictures and sending them to my family and friends with the conventional mail. Sure, I can Buzz it today, but a couple years from now my stuff will be simply gone. If it is indeed being archived somewhere, it will be gone in the sense of its useless without a intelligently conceived mechanism to search and browse it.

To accompany this post, I've chosen a photo from a Flikr that is dated 1909. If the woman in this photo had Buzzed this picture one hundred years ago, would it still be in the possession of her great-grandchild? Given the text on Flickr the great-grandchild is obviously fascinated by it and thrilled to have it. From the beginning, Buzz should have a vision that recognizes the value of stale Buzzed.