Google Buzz and the whole Google Accounts fiasco

10 February 2010

Yesterday Google began to release Google Buzz to its Gmail users. Buzz appears to be a compelling service - especially since it plugs right into something many of us use already. For more information about what Buzz is and does visit the Google Buzz site for a nice demo.

I can't have much more of an opinion on Google Buzz because I can't use it. You see, I use something called Google Apps for Domains. Google Apps allows me to have Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and other services by Google for the CDEVROE.com domain name. My colin [at] cdevroe.com email, in other words, is simply a glorified Gmail account. But, for some reason, Google handles these accounts completely separate from all other accounts.

[caption id="attachment_3698" align="alignnone" width="480" caption="Google Reader Header"][/caption]

Take Google Reader as an example. I use Google Reader everyday. On the top right hand side of Google Reader (see the image above and click on it to zoom in), where it tells me whom I'm logged in as, it says colin [at] cdevroe.com. One would think that would mean that my Google Apps account was being used to authenticate me for Google Reader. This isn't so. On the left hand side of the page there is a link for Mail (presumably my Inbox). If I click on that it asks me to sign up for Gmail. Wait, what?

To make matters worse Google does this for all of its services. Google.com, Maps, Adsense, Analytics, and more. I have accounts for all of these (using my same email address) but I don't have a Gmail account. I have a Google Apps Gmail account.

Chris Messina, someone whom I admire very much, recently went to work full time at the GOOG as an Open Web Advocate. I know he'll be busy striving to get Google to become the foremost example in the open Web but I also know that he understands this whole Google Accounts fiasco as well if not better than I do. I hope that, while he's changing the world from the inside out, he's also able to convince those at Google to consolidate all Google Accounts into a single-account-sign-on-something-or-other.

I look forward to one day playing around with Buzz but I'll wait until it is available in my Google Apps for Domains flavor of Gmail.

Addendum: So I thought I'd try my hand at following through the Gmail setup process to see if, like with Google Reader, it just used my colin [at] cdevroe.com account as its primary account. Now I have no idea what it did and I have a new email address and Google Profile that are unrelated to my normal Apps account but it is linked to it somehow. I'm a professional Internet user and developer and I have absolutely no idea what Google is trying to accomplish. Wow.

NOOO! Now all of my accounts are associated to a new account.