Dear Google

Dearest Google, love of my life and solver of many of my internet problems.  I have something to ask from you.  It’s not a big thing, well big two things, and I know that with the combined might and power that you have, that you should be able to solve these two simple problems I have.  The first is with your fantastic Gtalk software (Google Talk).  Personally I think this piece of software, as a chat client, is brilliant and I don’t share my gtalk contacts with any other chat client, because I love the way gtalk operates, with one small exception.  If I remove someone from my contact list, and they don’t remove me from theirs, then you still notify me when they sign into chat.

I don’t actually get why you do this Google.  Surely I removed them from my contact list for a reason.  Maybe I broke up with them, maybe I had a massive falling out, maybe they assaulted or abused me, and yet you still want to make sure that I know that they’ve just signed online because they’re far too lazy (or vindictive, or controlling, or something else) to remove me from their contact list.  Yes I know I can block them, and in the cases where I really never want to speak to the individual again, I have, but where I’ve just lost contact with them, or we were never that good friends anyway, or they’ve moved a long way away and keeping in touch is something I’m not interested in, I shouldn’t have to be notified that they’re online.  Afterall, they’re not on my contact list for a reason, and surely that should be enough.

The second issue I have is with your marvellous Google Buzz/Google Reader.  I’m combining both of these together, because the issue applies across both systems as they are, for this problem, interlinked.  Since you created Google Reader, I’ve loved how I can pool all the blogs and pages that I’m interested in keeping abreast of, in one place.  I love how I can look at what my friends, partners and other people of interest also think is fascinating and worth sharing.  I love being able to keep everything organised and how I can search for things later when I want to blog about them or find it to win an argument.  However, again there is a slight problem.  If someone I have blocked from reading or sharing my articles comments on an article that someone I follow has shared, then I’m reintroduced to that individual, regardless of the fact that I have blocked them.  Again, I have blocked this person for a reason, and you’re allowing me to read comments that they place on articles that my friends share.  Its not fair of me to ask my friends to block this person also for my own peace of mind.  I’d love it if you’d put in place something like, “Comment made by blocked user” so I’d understand what my friend was responding to, but did not have the blocked individual in my face.

I have all sorts of good reasons, as does everyone else who blocks people, for blocking people.  Having them constantly in my face because members of my social circle are still on speaking terms with them is deeply upsetting.  I’d much rather receive less content (in this case comments), or be able to select an option that states, “As well as blocking this user, I wish to block all comments from this user”, for my own safety.

I know you care about me Google.  We go back a long way, and I have been enjoying our time together.  If you sort out these few things that have been distressing me recently, I’ll be much happier.

Much love,


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