I’ve long said that in good social networks, it’s not how you give, but how you receive that makes the social network powerful. This is why I like Facebook – I can hide the types of applications I don’t ever want to see, or I can just hide individuals. I liked FriendFeed even better because they took it a step even further by allowing me to not just hide by source or application or just the user, but they allowed me to hide specific applications for only specific users. So, for instance, if I wanted to hide all the Twitter posts from Robert Scoble I could click a button, “hide entries like these”, configure it correctly, and now I would never see a Twitter post from Robert Scoble again, even though I might still see Twitter posts from others. Google just entered the scale of FriendFeed with the same level of granularity in what you want to receive.
In a post on Buzz, Rick Klau, the person over Google Profiles, formerly over Blogger, and originally one of the founders of Feedburner, posted, “Some of us would rather keep up with our friend’s Google Reader shared items in Google Reader or our co-worker’s Twitter posts in Twitter. So, by popular request, you can now mute Google Buzz posts by source for each person you follow.” So, in typical Google fashion, Google is using the “mute” functionality from Gmail and other areas to allow you to hide specific applications from specific individuals you don’t want to see.
According to Klau, to turn on the functionality:
“You can do this from two places:
1) Click the arrow in the corner of any post
2) Click a person’s name from the Buzz tab
If you ever want to unmute a source, just click the person’s name from the Buzz tab again and “unmute.”
So if you’re on Buzz or you want to try Buzz, you can safely turn on your Twitter feed or whatever feed you chose, and now it’s up to those receiving your feed on how noisy they want to be. Now MG Siegler doesn’t have to complain about how noisy my Twitter stream is any more. 😉
UPDATE: The post by Rick Klau was actually a re-share of a post by the Google Buzz Team here: http://www.google.com/buzz/googlebuzz/eaCpwkgqPiu/Mute-posts-by-source-Some-of-us-would-rather-keep