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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Former Google+ Designer: ‘We F*cked Up!’

CHRIS-MESSINA

Meet Chris Messina. 

He’s a guy whose palatial estate may be large enough to contain his ego: he was a lead designer at this start-up called Google. In fact, he was one of the user experience masterminds behind Google+.

(Not for nothing, but dude is credited by many with creating the hashtag.)

No matter how much Google tries to force us to use its own network, the project has been a failure by any real measure. Now Messina is blogging about its demise in very unflattering (and profane) terms.

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Eric Schmidt Finally Explains How Google Works

The animated video that Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt shared on (of course) Google+ this morning is really a piece of content marketing promoting his new book How Google Works, written with the help of advisor/former SVP of Products Jonathan Rosenberg and Director of Executive Communications Alan Eagle.

A more appropriate title might be “How Business Works in the Age of Google.” Still, it’s a useful clip that reinforces some lessons crucial to both communications teams and their clients. And it’s short at just over three minutes.

The video confirms a few things we know:

  • Influencers are everywhere
  • Truly “smart creative” ideas win the day
  • Businesses and agencies alike need to facilitate a culture that encourages risk-taking and “innovation”

For PR, the key message is to be nimble: the act of relying on any rigid business plan or the words of a single, big-name advisor will probably not help a given company or agency achieve its goals. Sharing, communication and consensus are key.

What do we think?

Google Receives More than 1,000 ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Requests Every Day

google search

There you are (not)!

Update on Google’s forced European “Right to Be Forgotten” experiment: it’s going strong with no signs of slowing down.

Since the law became official in May, more than 145,000 individuals across Europe have requested that the company remove certain links. Britons alone have begged for the removal of some 60K items currently listed in Google’s search results — and they were third behind France and Germany.

This Telegraph “what people want removed” post offers a revealing look at just how unworkable this situation really is.

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Kung Fu Panda: Google Quietly Released Another Content Killer Update

kung fun panda

PR professionals that belong to integrated agencies, listen up! You hear that? It was a big Google update that whizzed right by you.

Less than four months after we spoke to Prezly’s Gijs Nelissen about learning Panda 4.0, the dudes in Mountain View switched things up on us again. And it’s important that we all stay up on these updates.

Did you know that, depending on the region or the website, this update affected about 3%-5% of all search queries? Was your client’s blog blasted? How about their website? Do you know what “thin content” is, and are you guilty of promoting it?

Those answers after the jump [cue scary laughter]…

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Top Google Comms Exec Heads to Snapchat

Jill HazelbakerSeems Snapchat was well aware of its own shortcomings on the messaging front: the not-quite-disappearing message app company has hired Jill Hazelbaker, former senior director of corporate comms and government relations at Google.

In confirming the change this morning, Re\code notes that Snapchat didn’t exactly announce it publicly — nor did the company send out formal press releases when it hired Facebook veteran Sara Sperling to run its HR department last month.

Hazelbaker’s responsibilities will presumably include helping the increasingly mis-categorized “startup” manage its messaging efforts and minimize unflattering press as it continues to expand.

Interesting things to note about Hazelbaker: prior to joining Google, she worked in politics on the center-right side of the aisle, serving as senior advisor to New York mayor Michael Bloomberg when he ran for a third term and directing national communications for Senator John McCain’s 2007-2008 presidential campaign.

She’s also never tweeted, though she does follow Henry Blodget…

Tech Giants Can Handle Their Own Mergers and Acquisitions Now

google building

A New York Times piece published over the weekend reviewed the strategies employed by massive tech companies like Apple and Google when they want to acquire smaller companies — and there’s reason for both PR and the financial industries to be concerned.

It seems that the primary issue some executives consider when determining whether to buy certain other businesses is not their potential to make money in the short-term (or even the mid-term): it’s whether consumers will really use the products they create in everyday life.

Hence what they call “the toothbrush test”: how often will the average person use this company’s product? Will they use it a few times and get tired of it, or will it be a consistent presence in their lives?

The implication: an increasing number of tech execs think they can make these decisions on their own.

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Google Removes ‘Bomb Gaza’ Game from App Store After Backlash

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What could possibly be offensive about a mobile game that makes light of the bloody and ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict by encouraging bored Android and tablet users to drop animated explosives on Gaza, where over 1,800 real, human Palestinians have been killed since the start of the fighting? Oh, that’s right — everything.

To make matters worse, the game, titled “Bomb Gaza,” released by developer PLAYFTW, had a “low” maturity rating, meaning children were given the green light to play it. Excellent.

Angry and disgusted complaints flooded the game’s (now-deleted) comments section, and while some comments were political and defended one side of the conflict or the other, the overwhelming sentiment of the outraged objections can be pretty-well summed up by this simple, straight-forward one (heads-up for some swearing):

“WTF There is ongoing conflict in which people are dying and you seem to find it acceptable to make a game of it. That’s fucked up.”

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Mindy Kaling Helps Google Teach Girls to Code

Mindy Kaling

Pic via Taylor Hill/Filmmagic for Google

We’re all aware that the tech world faces a gender balance issue that is much more than just a simple “public relations problem”. We recently posted on a coming documentary designed to highlight female entrepreneurs, but Google is spending millions of bucks to address the lack of women in the coding community–and they picked an unlikely celebrity to help spread the message: actress/writer Mindy Kaling.

This morning Kaling explained a bit more about the strategy and her status as spokeswoman for “geeky” girls everywhere in an interview with WNYC’s New Tech City.

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PR Newswire Will No Longer Tolerate Your Spam

spam_can-SMWhile The Associated Press announced its plans to use robots to create financial press releases today, PR Newswire went in the (sort of) opposite direction last week with a new regulatory crackdown on spam. We missed it at the time, but now we’re on the case.

This move is interesting in that it won’t be based on algorithms alone: instead, the organization reports that its own editorial staffers will review submitted releases to make sure they deliver real value to readers via “a number of message elements” like original research and substantial analysis.

In other words, no more link-farming or jargon dumps/SEO tricks–in theory, at least…

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Google Employees May Need Children to Get Parents a Day Off

google working

Just when you thought this was the best place on Earth to work…

Google has become the perennial best place to work on the planet. Sure, Disney has perks with that six-foot-tall rat walking around in a field of tinsel and magic dust, but that’s nothing to a place with a slide in it. Other theme parks are fun but long lines and all.

So, Google pretty much wins the contest. And in a place as happy-happy-joy-joy as that one, you would think working overtime wouldn’t suck so much. We presume that paychecks from the owners of the Internet might lead some to cancel a few lunches to work late.

Everything is fun-and-yuks until someone’s adorable daughter writes a boss at Google to send Daddy home early. In crayon. Yeah .. heartwarming stuff.

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