- Program Manager, 2010 - present
- Search Evangelist, 2006 - 2010
- Self-employedConsultant, 2001 - 2006
- Niehaus Ryan Wong ("NRW")Interactive Strategies guy, 1999 - 2001
- Ascena ("Fortissinformationssysteme")Entrepreneur, 1997 - 1999
I work on Google Flights. However... my posts on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and in Google forums (except those posted with an official "G" icon next to them) are my own personal blatherings -- mine mine mine! -- and don't necessarily reflect those of my employer, my mom, my invisible friend Harvey, etc.
- NorthwesternPolitical Science and Communications, 1989 - 1993
- Indiana UniversityMBA and JD, 1993 - 1997
- Thousand Oaks High SchoolGeek stuff, 1986 - 1989
- Redwood Middle SchoolTeen angst, 1984 - 1986
- Aspen Elementary SchoolPre-teen angst, 1977 - 1984
Which the birds liked indeed!
But rats followed soon after
On the feeder and rafter
So I tried out some suet
But the birds, they poo-poo it:
"Come on, what the heck?!
What the bleep IS this dreck!"
Oh, what frustration!
Not to mention vexation
Let them get their own food!
While I give up and brood :(
Why? Because there are many good articles you can and should read about this amazing, inspirational guy. He was absolutely one of the most joyful, generous, inspiring people I've ever met, and I'm thankful I had the opportunity to take classes and chat with him.
In one of his classes, I accidentally rock-stepped right onto his foot (!). I was mortified, but thankfully he wasn't hurt and he had a good sense of humor about it.
A day later, he accidentally spilled a spot of white wine on me when we were both hanging out in the bar at www.herrang.com. When he saw that there was no harm done, he playfully poked me, smiled broadly and chuckled, "Payback! heh heh heh!" :D
I have many other memories of Frankie... typically with him ever so patiently helping dancers feel the music, feel the essence of partner dancing.
He wasn't all about the moves, but rather dancing to him was all about connecting with others and having a damn good time. Just as it should be.
"Gentlemen, you've gotta always remember... who is that beautiful lady in front of you? She's your Queen!" Indeed!
And couldn't we use a bit more respect, connection and undivided attention in our lives? :-) Yes, yes we could!
(and for those who are expecting an important call or text... they should put their phone on vibrate and then leave the theatre if they get pinged)
It's been a wild ride. Grateful for the opportunities, the experiences, and -- most importantly -- the friends I've made as a Googler, both inside and outside the company.
I was really happy to read this post by , remarking on Google's hiring of Christopher Poole ("moot"), the founder of the (in)famous site 4chan. https://plus.google.com/+YonatanZunger/posts/TLPw23eiYrM
4chan has long been in the news as a site that -- among other things -- has hosted some rather despicable speech... mean-spirited & even hateful.
At the same time, I have a lot of respect for and trust in Yonatan; I've seen his longstanding public and internal-to-Google engagement on the topic of robust and safe communities online.
And also, I've learned that -- in addition to its abhorrent contributions -- 4chan has provided the internet with fascinating and sometimes hilarious ideas and conversations. It has been, essentially, in many ways like a slice of "real life."
* * *
I genuinely believe that Google is concerned about and interested in improving the quality and safety of online communities.
But with that said, I hope all good souls will firmly and respectfully let Google -- and other companies hosting communities online -- know when our efforts fall short.
At a minimum, I personally believe that community members should have powerful and reliable tools to effectively report and block harassment. Ideally, we should all be able to enjoy communities that are structured and maintained in a way that prevents jerks from ever getting a foothold in the first place.
Community design and management is massively difficult; even gobs of money and impressive technologies aren't sufficient. But where there's a will... where there are high expectations... where there are thoughtful, kind, and passionate souls... we can make valuable progress :).
Important: please don't fight hate with hate.
1) That never works.
2) It makes it harder to tell who the good folks are.
3) The most awful people online often get their kicks specifically from stirring up hatred, so you're just adding fuel to their fire.
Lastly, please know that I'm writing this as a long-time (albeit lapsed) community manager, not as a Googler
...and certainly not as a Googler in an official capacity. I no longer do any community management at Google, much less speak for any of the teams/people/departments responsible for community development or management. These are my personal opinions, formed from my experience being online for decades and even launching my own email and web communities back in the 90s :-).
About 4 minutes of music, and then... the making of. All very worth seeing!
Hat-tip: my parents! :)
P.S. -- Yes, this is the same amazing group that recently featured a massive music-marble machine!
Check out this beautiful, fun, and wonderfully executed medley:
and be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel of Voctave (which I'm delighted to have now discovered!)
Hat tip: https://www.yahoo.com/movies/heres-an-a-cappella-medley-of-great-john-williams-175656083.html
We could ask what took so long, but we likely already know the reason (read the article to find out). The better question is... how can we (men and women) accelerate the trend of advertising that respects and inspires?!
P.S. - With all that said, I'm a bit disappointed that the image chosen for this article (shown below) is... a scantily clad and especially attractive woman, which kind of goes against the key points in the article. Hmm... two steps forward, one step back...
Insofar as there exist women who consciously and conscientiously decide to dress a particular way, I think it makes sense for the advertiser to meet them there, despite the objectifiers. Otherwise, you're basically empowering the objectifiers themselves, right? Who should have the power to decide how women are portrayed in the media? The answer is certainly not "disgusting catcallers on the streets."
Of course, there's a balance. If the ad portrays the act of objectification, that's bad. If the ad basically conforms to the male gaze, that's bad. But given that a bunch of actual women dress a certain way, I don't think it's automatically indicative of the male gaze that the model is attired just like the real-world prototypes. Just like it's not automatically indicative of Asian objectification to have an Asian woman as a model in an advertisement.
I'm delighted to see this new initiative led by , a colleague of mine who cares deeply about helping people build and discover respectful & interesting communities online.
There are already lots of great conversations on Google+ and I know many have resulted in awesome "real-life" friendships.
Here's to more of all of that positivity, sharing, and connecting!
Today we are launching Google+ Create (g.co/PlusCreate), a unique program that gives amazing content creators the recognition and audience they deserve.
When we introduced Google+ Collections last May, we were blown away by the amazing things people began sharing, from the beautiful (goo.gl/ryi0jv) to the breathtaking (goo.gl/n0KpR6), from the profound (goo.gl/XfBB0y) to the playful (goo.gl/zdDVsf), from the whimsical (goo.gl/zLOMgy) to the wonderfully eclectic (goo.gl/kgtI38).
And people on Google+ agree. Since launching the redesigned Google+ in November, Collection follows have more than doubled.
But these Collections don’t create themselves. Behind them are fascinating individuals who bring their flair, imagination and craft to engage and inspire others. There are food alchemists like in Lahore, Pakistan, writers and woodturners like and in Nova Scotia, and daredevil acrobats like on a mountain top near you.
We want to celebrate these inspiring creators and amplify their unique voices. Google+ Create members get a verified profile, early access to new product features, a private channel with the Google+ team, and special opportunities to build their audiences.
Visit g.co/PlusCreate to meet some of our members, learn about the benefits, and apply to join if you’re interested. Or just immerse yourself in the diversity of Collections already on Google+ (g.co/Collections).
Googler Brian White shares his personal (unofficial but quite informed) thoughts and info. Worth a read!
Working at Google does not give you access to the data of users!
It's an easy assumption to make. After all, most companies don't put internal access controls on data making it easy for every employee to access everything inside the firewall. Google does not work that way.
Though there are many groups at Google, we'll simplify it into Software Engineering ("SWE") and Site Reliability Engineering ("SRE"). I was the latter for 5 years and I've been the former for 3.
SWE, in general, has access to nothing. They run their code on their own workstations and sometimes test clusters with test data. A few get access to anonymized user data for their service -- more on that later.
SRE is the group that owns the keys to the kingdom. They're the group (actually many small groups) responsible for running Google services "in production". They almost always have access to anonymized user data for their service and the ability to access "raw" logs if necessary, again for only their service. The kicker is that, since around 2011, this latter access comes through a specific interface where you must explain with each request why you're doing this. All those actions are logged and those logs are audited. Misuse of the access will get you fired.
What is "misuse"? I can't even look up my own queries. I could be on-call for my service, have you on the phone fixing a problem with you saying, "go ahead" , and I still couldn't do it. In five years, I only used raw logs twice, both on myself during training just so we'd know how.
So, for any given service, there may be somewhere between 10 and 100 people worldwide who could potentially access Personally Identifiable Information ("PII") of a user, but doing so without a good reason would be the end of them at the company. And should that abusive employee somehow cause "material damage" to the company... I don't even want to speculate.
On top of that, any attempt to track a single user, whether the user can be identified personally or not, will also get you fired. Every user with any form of logs access has signed a paper (real paper, even) stating that they understand all this and the consequences.
This is serious stuff. My own team would turn me in without a second thought if I did any of this. And I'd do the same to them.
What are "anonymized" logs? They're the requests that have had all PII stripped. No IP address. No account identifier. No geo-locating finer than the city, etc.
Disclaimer: I work for Google (obviously). These thoughts are mine and mine alone. Mine, I tell you! Mine!!!
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