Google buys Aardvark social network search company

Google purchase adds to Google Buzz

Google buys Aardvark

Image from Flickr.

The internetverse is still buzzing about Google Buzz, and it appears Google has purchased a company that will give its social network something special. Aardvark developed a type of search engine that allows you to do keyword searches on your social networks rather than the World Wide Web.

I am, of course, assuming that Google will actually be using this product on Google Buzz after it spent $50 million, according to TechCrunch, to acquire it. Seems logical to me, but that’s not an official statement, just the opinion of one blogger who still needs tax resolution

Official statements on Google and Aardvark

What we do know is that Google and Aardvark signed the acquisition deal today — that’s pretty much it. However, as Google goes about buying $50 million bells and whistles to add to Google Buzz, there are a few things we should consider before jumping on the Buzz bandwagon.

When you signed up for Facebook, you knew that all of your friends would be able to see all of your other friends. Of course, you can hide your friends list now. However, when you entered e-mails into your gmail account, did you count on the fact that everyone would be able to see those contacts? That is a risk of Google Buzz.

All together now, Googlers

MSNBC reports that on Google Buzz, you create a “Google profile that will primarily be seen by other Google users.” Other Google users? Isn’t that, like, everybody? You can dial up the privacy knob a bit by telling it not to display your last name. For me, this would be of great use. However, I don’t think it will hide my friend Shadra’s identity very well.

Because your Gmail or Google account username is your e-mail address, everyone will know your e-mail address. Thank goodness for those spam filters, eh? But what about non-spammers who you’d rather not have e-mailing you and disrupting your world? And what if you don’t want your coworkers to be on the chat list of your personal e-mail account, where you write all of your special, private status messages?

Get informed about Google Buzz

MSNBC does a really good job of summarizing the privacy concerns surrounding Google Buzz here: I can only imagine that being able to do keyword searches involving social contacts through Aardvark will add to these concerns. Google Buzz will probably work very well for a lot of people, but make sure you read up before you sign up.

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