Hung Truong: The Blog!

Google “Friends” = Worst Idea Ever

December 20, 2007 | 1 Minute Read

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood this week. Or maybe software is just getting ridiculously stupid.

I use Google Reader as an RSS Feed reader. They recently introduced a “feature” where you can see stuff from your “friend’s” RSS subscriptions. Google has the idiotic idea that anyone you chat with on Gtalk or email is a friend.

Google doesn’t ask you who you friends are, they just have some algorithm to determine it. An algorithm. To determine who your friends are.

While I am very confident in certain algorithms (like say, Dijkstra’s Shortest Path Algorithm), I believe it’s quite easy to figure out who one’s friends are by FUCKING ASKING THE PERSON!

The worst part is, in order to remove these stupid stories, you must delete these people from your contacts list. So really, there’s an extreme binary relationship: either you are someone’s friend and you email them, or you are not their friend and you will never email them, ever.


Google will not be able to beat Facebook at social software if they can’t figure out how to ask someone who their friends are. This move shows an utter lack of understanding of human nature. Google thinks they can solve things mathematically when asking a user will completely suffice. The algorithm-worship there has seriously got to stop.