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Why do we love Google yet they don't talk to us?

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  • User profile image
    Sabot

    I just don't get it?

    Why is it that Google is always 'bigged up' as some sort of great white hope and saviour and yet it doesn't have that many blogs, no forum, no C9, no Video's, no comment's on the official blog. Infact how exactly does it talk to us? How does it know what we want? Where is the debate, the communication? Not much of a saviour if you don't know how to save me?

    Another thing is Official blog???? What's that???? Can you imagine an Official Blog at Microsoft ... the equivilent would be the press releases then. Where's the opinion? It's bland, dull!

    A good example is ... where can I write that the Google spreadsheet is a pile of pants for x, y and z reason what are Google doing about it? ... where others can read my comments and have a debate about it. There isn't such as thing as an Official Google spreadsheet team blog.

    Until I can debate and communicate with Google they are just another I.T. company that has a good product that doesn't really listen ... and there are hundreds of them! They may be making money now but the writting is on the wall, if you don't communicate with your customer and react to their needs you go out of business.

    After all it's very easy to switch Search Engines ... hmmm ... who remembers Alta-Vista? They were the search engine of choice once.

  • User profile image
    LaBomba
  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Sabot wrote:
    and yet it doesn't have that many blogs, no forum, no C9, no Video's, no comment's on the official blog.


    Dave, do you really think that this is an indicator of a company's success, why has it not done more for Microsoft's image?

    Sabot wrote:

    Infact how exactly does it talk to us? How does it know what we want?


    Through the 30 blogs they have? Through the google groups that exist for nearly all of their products? Through customer feedback? Through reading other people's blogs?

    Blogs have a use, but they are not the be-all and end-all of the IT universe? You're startign to sound a bit like Scoble (who?)

  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    You love google?

    Pfft.

  • User profile image
    Rowan

    I came across a Google blogger who made a series of videos of himself answering visitor's questions about search engine optimisation. You wouldn't think watching a video of a guy standing in front of a white wall would be very interesting, but it's so much better than reading a page of text on a white page.

    So your claim that Google has no videos is incorrect.

  • User profile image
    KosherCoder

    love google?  not me.
    I use Windows Live for everything, and it works great.

  • User profile image
    Rossj
  • User profile image
    AdityaG

    The answer is very simple. It's one simple word. Free (money wise).

    They provide a lot of stuff free. People like free. People like google.

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    Ok, I concede that they have video's now ...

    What I'm getting at is ... why do lots of people hype Google?

    I don't get it?

    Is it really because they give away free stuff?

    OK, Earth and Maps are fun toys for find secret black helicopters.
    Desktop search is something that I used once
    The spreadsheet is bad
    Gmail is ok but how many webbased clients are there out there now.
    Talk I never use

    .... nothing my business has said ... yep we will use this! It's just play things, nothing to really write home about.

    To be honest, Google's killer app is still just the Search Engine. I'm not seeing a greater business model than this. I am seeing efforts but no gold star.

    Also from Google I just am not seeing the wider debate. Here is the acid test ... name me 6 Google employees off the top of your head?

    Ross a company lives and dies buy communication with it's customers, hence why my Energy company has call-centre's. What I'm not seeing is Google having that communication in the open. OK, so I can send them an email and have done, but I haven't seen a response, no one can comment, it's just not open ... and this is the way that modern business is moving.

    Don't think so? Well if my humble little utility backwater is seriously considering getting the CEO to blog externally, he already does internally then business, not just bleeding edge ones, understands the power of blogs and just afew bland ones isn't good enough.

    So perhaps if Google had a wider debate they would have more successful products??? What do you think???








  • User profile image
    Charles

    Good questions, sabot!

    One reason that people love to love Google is that they came out of nowhere, with a simple, brilliant business model, and have effectively caused a giant software company, Microsoft, to virtually change it's business model to compete successfully with them. They don't sell anything, yet they make a tremendous profit each quarter and provide substantial value to shareholders consistently. Google has revolutionized how companies can make profit in the Internet age. They deserve kudos for this. They certainly have our attention...

    Google is suffering from Success, just as Microsoft did in the mid-eighties/ninetees. They think they are untouchable from a competitive point of view and have started to engage in questionable business practices, so it seems. That said, they are not very open (nothing like Microsoft) and seem to prefer the Apple approach to transparency.

    Google may have innovated the search-based advertisement business model, but Microsoft revolutionized transparency and open customer engagement. Thing is, the former adds more immediate value to shareholders, but money isn't everything, especially when you have lots of it (Google comes nowhere near Microsoft in terms of capital assets) and there is always something to be said for long term strategy...

    The games have begun. I think we will compete quite admirably with Google in the coming years. Don't sell your Microsoft shares just yet...

    C

  • User profile image
    LaBomba

    Charles wrote:
    

    Good questions, sabot!

    One reason that people love to love Google is that they came out of nowhere, with a simple, brilliant business model, and have effectively caused a giant software company, Microsoft, to virtually change it's business model to compete successfully with them. They don't sell anything, yet they make a tremendous profit each quarter and provide substantial value to shareholders consistently. Google has revolutionized how companies can make profit in the Internet age. They deserve kudos for this. They certainly have our attention...

    Google is suffering from Success, just as Microsoft did in the mid-eighties/ninetees. They think they are untouchable from a competitive point of view and have started to engage in questionable business practices, so it seems. That said, they are not very open (nothing like Microsoft) and seem to prefer the Apple approach to transparency.

    Google may have innovated the search-based advertisement business model, but Microsoft revolutionized transparency and open customer engagement. Thing is, the former adds more immediate value to shareholders, but money isn't everything, especially when you have lots of it (Google comes nowhere near Microsoft in terms of capital assets) and there is always something to be said for long term strategy...

    The games have begun. I think we will compete quite admirably with Google in the coming years. Don't sell your Microsoft shares just yet...

    C


    C9 has their own mini-ballmer folks! Tongue OutWink

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    What's the "we" nonsense anyway? Bad assumption.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Sabot wrote:
    

    Ok, I concede that they have video's now ...

    What I'm getting at is ... why do lots of people hype Google?

    I don't get it?

    Is it really because they give away free stuff?


    Why do people hype Google, either deliberately or through non-direct advocacy? Because it works, out of the box, and doesn't cost anything.  Of course this applies to live.com too, but they are fighting against a tide of a name that has been taken on as a verb - my parents use live.com but they still say 'I will Google it'.    Google typically take a simplistic approach to their products that works.

    Search (unrelated to aforementioned tactics) is something that Microsoft have been playing catch up with since day one, I even prefer alltheweb.com (now Fast I think) to live.com in terms of getting reasonably good hits - and I *know* how hard search is, it isn't as easy as you might at first believe.


    Sabot wrote:
    

    OK, Earth and Maps are fun toys for find secret black helicopters.
    Desktop search is something that I used once

    Google Earth has a valid place in the pantheon of GIS tools, sure it isn't as well known as ArcView or MapInfo but it has a place.  As for Maps, well I often have a need for location sensitive searches and the visualisation is a *great* tool when determining whether the restaurant that is only a mile away is actually reachable and isn't 1.5 miles across a lake. Desktop search I use everyday but then that is a habit I picked up from Spotlight.

    Sabot wrote:
    

    The spreadsheet is bad
    Gmail is ok but how many webbased clients are there out there now.
    Talk I never use

    I can't argue against the bad spreadsheet, it is pretty lame, but I can't believe you can really compare Gmail to other webmail systems, the UI is better and with a pretty much limitless supply of diskspace it is very useful indeed.

    Google Talk I do use, but then a lot of people miss the point about gtalk, I use it because as soon as it was announced I knew they would be joining the Jabber federated network - and at some point when they turn on MSN, AIM and Yahoo support it is going to make Microsoft's attempt at interop (with Yahoo - which was never a technical problem) look silly.  Of course, now they won't turn it on and will make me look silly - as easy as that is.


    I guess hackability is another argument for my point above, Google encourage hacking ... I once asked what the POV was about GDrive (using gmail as storage) and was told - go for it, we don't care - really. I suspect attempts to hack hotmail will result in a court case.


    Sabot wrote:
    
    To be honest, Google's killer app is still just the Search Engine. I'm not seeing a greater business model than this. I am seeing efforts but no gold star.

    Of course, but there are lots of different things to be found - it isn't all about web pages, it *should* be about making everything findable.

    Sabot wrote:
    

    Also from Google I just am not seeing the wider debate. Here is the acid test ... name me 6 Google employees off the top of your head?

    Vint Cerf, Ben Goodger .. beyond that all the Google employees I know used to be Microsoft employees Smiley


    Sabot wrote:
    

    Ross a company lives and dies buy communication with it's customers, hence why my Energy company has call-centre's.

    ...

    What I'm not seeing is Google having that communication in the open. OK, so I can send them an email and have done, but I haven't seen a response, no one can comment, it's just not open ... and this is the way that modern business is moving.

    [/quote]

    What exactly is it you want to communicate to Google? Feature requests? They have a mechanism for that. You want them to tell you what is coming down the pipeline? Why? Microsoft do this and get slated when it doesn't appear or is incomplete, Apple does this and it inspires the 'rumour mill' where people are talking about Apple.




    Sabot wrote:
    

    Don't think so? Well if my humble little utility backwater is seriously considering getting the CEO to blog externally, he already does internally then business, not just bleeding edge ones, understands the power of blogs and just afew bland ones isn't good enough.

    Do you really think a blog from a Utility company CEO is going to stop people complaining about the water stoppages and an apparent 'drought' when it has been raining for the last 3 weeks non-stop? Will comments on that blog actually change how the company runs and delivers?

    Sure call-centres suck, especially in the UK where we seem to have a real "can't do" attitude but if any Joe Bloggs (hehe) in the UK finds his blog the comments will totally consist of 'why did you cut off my water?' comments. Where exactly is the benefit to my parents in subscribing to his blog? What do they get out of it, because we all know one person's opinion doesn't carry that much weight in a large company (unless that person has an A-List blog like Scoble - hint: my parents don't).

    I don't mean to come off as anti-blogging, I'm not there are certainly plenty of blogs where I find value - normally those revolving around things I am interested in or becoming interested in.  Which blogs don't I find value in? Those that are marketing blogs, Scoble being a prime example, except in his case he is marketing himself and his own access to high-level tech company employees.

    To a certain extent I still don't know what blogging actually is - is it really the new New Media? I don't see those sort of marketing spiels in my newspapers on the beeb. Is it solely a marketing exercise? Possibly, even technical blogs are marketing the skills of the author. Is an echo chamber? Sometimes, and the only value in this is in the quantity of posts because the quality is something that is hard to measure in a flood of posts.

    Blogging, whatever it is, has certainly been good for Microsoft, and it is nice to see a new open, less opaque MS - do I think this needs to happen for all companies? Nope, because they don't all have Microsoft's history. I don't buy Charles' argument that Google are the Microsoft of the noughties (2000-2010), I think Microsoft are the Microsoft of the noughties.  Every company makes mistakes, Google included. Making them once is excusable, constantly repeating them is a sign that Microsoft might be involved.

    I've just been back to re-read this post/rant, and it might come across as a little anti-Microsoft, that wasn't intentional and so I apologise in advance if anyone sees it that way.

  • User profile image
    Minh

    Charles wrote:
    Don't sell your Microsoft shares just yet...
    I'm already $6/share in the red (my reward for 6 years of owning MS stocks). How much longer should I wait?

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Charles wrote:
    I think we will compete quite admirably with Google in the coming years.


    One of the things about the Microsoft-Google thing is the competition aspect, whilst there is obviously competition in advertising/search I get the impression that Microsoft thinks it goes beyond this to competition in nearly every area - is this an internal thing from Microsoft that has leaked out, or is it a media-driven myth?

    On the plus side they are never likely to overtake XBox sales Wink

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    Where I was getting at is ...

    Blogging has filled a communication hole that call-centres, email, web pages and the media couldn't fill.

    Blogging hasn't taken over these things, it occupies a space between them. It allows the punters (customer or otherwise) to have a clear and visible conversation with the vender for all the world to see.

    As for Utilities the advantage here is that the only way up to now you get to hear about us is when the price goes up or something bad happened to a Granny in Guildford on a consumer program like the BBC's Watchdog. I.e. when something bad happens cos it's news worthy.

    The one of the ways of raising our profile was to do T.V. adverts, but we get somewhere in the region of 10,000 emails a day, many asking the same questions. So having a blog allows us to engage with our customers directly and easily ... something we have never had before other than go to their door or stand in the street or phone them up, none of which has every really worked well.

    And why do we need to do this ... because of Climate Change ...we now need to find out quickly what works and what doesn't, we need to look after our planet but still keep the computers and fridges going ... and provide a dividend year on year above inflation.

    Google's challenge is that does their business model provide a dividend year on year above inflation? Will they be attractive to say pension company investments who are they the biggest investors apart from the banks.

    So if your top dog in a market and have a near monopoly on something that is basically free and there is no where else to go for your business your not going to grow much. Whether this is true or not, it actually means nothing as it's really all about perception, yes people really do invest losts of money if the numbers from your past look good and your organisation looks attractive.

    So somehow Google is still attractive ... and the thing I wanted to discover is why? Hence my playing devils-advocate a bit. I guess I knew the answers already, I'm not naive but I wanted to make you think.

    Yes, kudos to Google, well done ... now lets see the next party trick.

    ... but all that said and done, you still need to know who your customers are and know how to engage with them. So the next time you look at your I.T. vender, Google, however ... hey perhaps even your local Supermarket ask yourself could they be doing more to engage with you?

    P.S. Did you all miss me, I've been away for a few days ... well if you did then I'm sorry to say I'm off for another couple of weeks, if you didn't miss me then you won't notice ![6]

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    I believe Google is holding its collective breath waiting for the inevitable stock-over-priced-bubble to pop.

    Until then, less is more, information-wise.

    They only imagine they are in the deep end of the pool already.

    Users like me, who ONLY used Google for search have started looking at the top-heavy behemoth as a corrupt corporate culture that is bent on using its free (and once upon a time rigorously fair) search service to compete unfairly with its rivals.

    While their search is better still imho, I won't even use that anymore.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Minh wrote:
    
    Charles wrote: Don't sell your Microsoft shares just yet...
    I'm already $6/share in the red (my reward for 6 years of owning MS stocks). How much longer should I wait?


    If the price is down, buy more Smiley

    Or Dollar Cost average.

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