Daily Archives: March 3, 2010

Have Google lost their human touch?

We all love Google don’t we?

They’re all – well…’googly’. They make you feel all nice and warm with their irreverence. They’re nice people too. I mean which other company has a mantra that says ‘don’t be evil’.  They’ve built up this reputation over a number of years. So does ‘Buzz’ make us love them more or less…

 Steve Jobs is a master predictor and back in January – he referred to the ‘don’t be evil’ mantra as bullshit and maybe he had a point?

 The mantra was borne out of a recognition that large corporations often maximize short-term profits with actions that destroy long-term brand image and competitive position. Supposedly, by instilling a Don’t Be Evil culture the corporation established a baseline for honest decision-making that disassociates Google from any and all cheating.

 Google are against short term gain with actions that destroy long term brand image?

 So, why have they inexplicably admitted launching a service with insufficient testing in the form of ‘Buzz’? They have had to make a series of changes to the service after backlashes from users concerned about intrusions of privacy. It’s turned out that Buzz was only tested internally and bypassed more extensive trials with external testers – used for many other Google services. Google said “We know we need to improve things.”

 All this just doesn’t sound like ‘Google’. Rushing out a new product to maximise presence without thinking it all through? Not putting the consumer first?

 “We’re very early in this space. This was one of our first big attempts,” Todd Jackson, Buzz product manager, told us.

 Um… so what was Orkut? Google Friend Connect?, and Google’s other attempts at social media?

 The reality is that their position in the marketplace meant this couldn’t fail (from a numbers perspective)

 Maybe the lack of fear of failure made Google behave in ways that typically they haven’t? Google has only released two numbers so far: there have been over 9 million posts and comments in about 56 hours, amounting to around 160,000 posts and comments per hour. The other number: over 200 mobile check-ins per minute, nearly 300,000 mobile check-ins per day.

 Google Buzz is bigger than Twitter 

But is it at a cost? By Buzz creating your followers for you, it’s been easier to gain traction but I think it comes at a real cost. With Facebook and Twitter, your network has been created by you. I don’t think Google gets that.

Sometimes algorithms work… sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you need humans to make decisions.

 Has Google misplaced it’s human touch?

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