Not only did Buzz ﬁnally disappear from my Dashboard today, but Brett Wilkins at Blogger furnished a very simple explanation on why there was still one entry for his service there.
Someone had added me as an author to his blog without my knowledge. It is one which I have never heard of, and which did not exist in my Blogger Dashboard at the time of the deletions.
Bloody hell, I wish someone had told me this at Google nearly a year ago, when I began asking.
But, there you are: if I didn’t contact Chang Kim, and if he didn’t put me on to Brett, we’d never have known. The help forums are about as handy as a kamikaze pilot’s helmet.
I’m as amazed as you are that I’m getting answers, but it shows that the “ofﬁcial channels” do not always work. Blogger gets a lot of “fails” on the “help” forums. Like so many things—e.g. the British Government—you need to take things higher up before you get an answer.
Still, I’m glad I did, and I have thanked Brett for his answer. I have also asked the errant blog’s owner, who is known to me, to remove me.
This illustrates the foolhardiness of Google not permitting us to delete products we do not use from our Account and Dashboard. If it allowed this, it would have solved a lot of problems—and judging by the forums, I am not alone. Surely this would be better all round: we have peace of mind, Google stores less data?
Now we just have to ﬁgure out the phantom Google Contacts contact. I also got a reply there, too: it seems Gmail has better forum people than Blogger. Unfortunately, the very kind chap who responded—a British journalist—doesn’t have an answer yet. It looks like another anomaly.
On less positive news, I read that Google will make all proﬁles public by July 31, probably in advance of Plus being offered to everyone. If yours is secret at present, Google’s position is: too bad.
As I discovered when I was playing around with Plus earlier this week, you can choose to make your proﬁle invisible to the Google search engine. I do not know if this is through a robots.txt ﬁle, as it was one thing I didn’t investigate.
I logged out at the time, and proceeded to visit my proﬁle URL. It could be found. One only hopes that for those who want what little privacy they have left on Google, they can keep themselves out of search results. At this point, I am not 100 per cent sure. I imagine we will all ﬁnd out, whether we like it or not, come July 31.
Remember the words of Google’s previous CEO, Eric Schmidt: ‘If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the ﬁrst place.’
PS.: I’ve read a bit more into the Google Proﬁle situation. If yours is private, it’ll simply be deleted—which is actually not a bad thing. So my concerns above about search engine visibility are unwarranted, though Mr Schmidt’s infamous quotation still doesn’t fully seem out of place.—JY
P.PS.: What a shame Brett’s explanation doesn’t seem to be accurate. The blog owner says I am not an author on his blog. And it doesn’t appear in my Blogger Dashboard, only my Google one. Back to square one and more Blogger-dissing.—JY