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A Short Rebuttal to Ben Parr's "If Google’s Management Doesn’t Use Google+, Then Why Should You?"

-J.C. Kendall, President, TekPersona LLC


Did you ever have one of those days where you said to yourself: “Why the f#&k did I do that?”

I’m guessing Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable is saying that this morning, after linking us last evening at 8:08PM Pacific Time, to what promises to be one of the single worst examples of bias, illogic, and downright silliness ever allowed to see the light of day on Mashable, or anywhere else for that matter.

The G+ link to the post is here: https://plus.google.com/101849747879612982297/posts/5xS3g1sJmik

Ben Parr took the term “Epic Fail” (I hate that term) to new heights in his piece entitled “If Google Management Doesn’t Use Google+, Then Why Should You? “

Linked here:
http://mashable.com/2011/10/04/google-needs-to-use-google-plus/

Ben starts the article with this false premise: “One of the most important rules in software is to eat your own dog food. The concept is simple: if you have confidence in your product, you should be using it.”

Not only is this wrong on its face, it is stupid in its interpretation.

I was present at the actual adoption of the term; popularized by my former boss at the time; Bill Gates.

There was a time when it was a question as to whether Microsoft could build Enterprise-Class software that upon which a business could base its operations. We were developing a number of products, but the ones in question were Windows NT, and more germane to the point, the Exchange Server.

At that time, with an employee count of around 20K and a large Windows-based network in Redmond we migrated to these solutions long before they became available to the public, so that we could get a sense of how they performed on a large distributed networking environment.

When it was confirmed that these products were ready for prime time, Gates would speak publicly about our internal pre-usage as “Eating our own dog food” and the phrase became part of Microsoft lore, and adopted industry-wide.

In summary, 'eating one’s dog-food', is about test and development, not about expressing confidence in your product through using it internally in day-to-day operations.

So think again about the obnoxiously silly way that Parr co-opts the term to mean if you don't use your product (another Straw-man, due to the fact that Google employees are all over this site; many in circles beyond Ben's prying eye) that you lack confidence in it.

By the premise of Ben’s article, I think next he expects Google to throw out all corporate Telecomm infrastructure, and conduct all business via Google Voice?

I’m inclined to believe that maybe Ben Parr thinks the executives at the Boeing Corporation should be building 10Kft runways in their back yards, so that they might commute to work each morning via 777?

Just kill me now?

The following, was my initial response to reading Ben’s screed on Mashable in Cashmore’s thread:

Forgive me, but that is one of the most stupid and off base articles I've seen on Mashable. How many false premises can one squeeze into a single rant?

First, they have NO data as to posts made outside of the Public stream, so they don’t even have an accurate usage statement.

Second, Google has assigned specific individuals to interact with us here on G+, why muddy the waters by confusing available resources?

Third, these people have JOBS, some of us are lucky enough to be able to use Google + while we work, but many people are only here before work or after. Who's to say Google execs are not busy?

Fourth, before there was a Google +, I'm sure Google management had a form of communication already in place. If some move to Google + to communicate, would that not suggest ALL of Google do the same thing? Or should people be expected to maintain multiple corporate communication, so that +Ben Parr can be pleased to say Google eats its own dog food?

This is ankle nipping, and its silly.

Mr Parr has not had a great month:

http://mashable.com/2011/09/26/facebook-ipad-app-iphone-app-exclusive/ <----so wrong as to be hilarious, were it not so sad.

In other writings, Mr Parr has gone bonkers in his level of Facebook love, suggesting that upcoming changes at Facebook would cause the world to stand up and applaud their brilliance and foresight.

Uh…………….no.

We all now know that the response to Facebook’s evolution has been less than stellar.

Here’s a rule, Ben. One you can take to the bank, pal. When you are in a hole; STOP DIGGING.

In your position, Mr Parr; either you should have known there was no iPhone 5 yesterday, or you should not have written about it; especially with the big-ol [EXCLUSIVE] in the headline, as if you were “in the know”. Clearly, you had no idea.

But to follow it up with the “Dog Food” article? Put down the shovel, baby. Somebody is gonna get hurt.

Read Mr Cashmore’s thread at the link for innumerable comments about what users think of the Dog Food Article.

I’m not going to go into more detail than the above, but I caution all writers with respect to Google +, it is a fact at this moment, that you don't know, what you DON'T KNOW.

Don't pretend to understand how this process works if you don't. If you are not a geek, do not take on Geek cred to pin a hit piece against the competition to your beloved Facebook.

Do your homework, use logic, write only what you can prove. If you don't, you might wake up one morning looking like a real dick.

Good effin' mornin....
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66 comments
 
And a good effin' morning to you, sir!!! :)

Looks like Ben Parr's article started off the 1st episode of Santa Barbara+, could you 2 please fight this out in a hangout? Save me a spot! :)))
 
Thank you for this, very interesting on the origins of the dog food phrase and spot-on regarding Mashable.

I'm reading Mashable articles occasionally, but I'm amazed by the amount of praise they receive on G+. It's a good site to get quick updates about minor tech-stuff, but as an outlet for serious journalism it's simply horrendous. The self-promotion of the Mashable staff is shameless, put forth to be some kind of authority on technology/social media journalism, when all they do is put together infographics and report second-hand information.

I was really annoyed by Ben Parr's lack of integrity regarding the new Facebook, as were many people. This is just another example - their brand may be taking major damage. Why not go back to putting together harmless infographics, rather than trying to be the soothsayers of social media and tech trends. They should leave that to professionals.
 
Good Morning +J.C. Kendall I have to agree, its one thing to test a product to make sure it is working and stable or at the very least ready, I used to work for a satellite company that provided channels in other languages that I don't understand, the executives of that company were mostly US citizens who also didn't understand the languages of the TV programming, are they too expected to watch it? I would think not, other than to perhaps see the quality of what they provide
 
While I completely understand that Google management is busybusy, and I do have some Google employees in my circles, and I have been in at least 2 hangouts with Google employees, I still would like to see that the top management team at least had accessible G+ accounts.

Yes, I can make the argument that they'd get spammed to hell and back and therefore it's easier for them not to do this.
Yes, I can make the argument that the accounts would simply sit dormant and people would fuss.

But I still think it would be better PR if the top team each had an account. Or - and I'll be thrilled if they do this - when G+ for business is open, create an account for G+ and have Google management in there.

That's just my own never-very-humble opinion.
 
+Debi Vaught-Thelin I take no exception to your points. I would only suggest that in showing great management and insight, Google's upper management has delegated responsiblity of this project to the G+ Team, and probably would like to avoid peering over their shoulders as they bring this puppy to market? +Vic Gundotra and team appear to be doing an amazing job to this point, with tons of interaction with us and very fast response to feedback. I'm thinking they are busy, but watching proudly from a distance. I also think they are here, but in a way that would preclude us from bugging them to death with well-wishes and high-fives.
 
good morning +J.C. Kendall . most informative rebuttal. I'm curious, isn't +Chee Chew part of Google+ management? (rhetorical question) He certainly hangs out with us riffraff users frequently.
 
+su ann lim Good morning, back at ya, and thanks. Google employees are all over this site. The article is just nonsense on its face.
 
+J.C. Kendall , of course the idea that management lets them run this without micromanaging is also very important. Agree with you there, no doubt.

Hmpf. Still agreeing. I really thought we'd be disagreeing more by now.
;)
 
Just copying the comment I just left on Pete Cashmore's thread:


I have three points:

1. This is Google+, not Facebook. There is such a thing as easy control over who sees your posts, and, as has been mentioned above, it's called circles.

2. Google+ is software. Unless you have specific inside intel that Google does not have its own sandbox version that is in use internally, your conclusions are baseless. Microsoft use Exchange, but that doesn't mean you will get to see their internal emails.

3. There are thousands of software companies that make products that do not fit into a corporate environment. Google+ is a social product, so your entire argument is invalid. No matter how fun Google are to work for, they are a corporation, and unless you're blind to corporate trends, you know that many corporations ban social network use. Why should Google executives use a product not for the corporate market?

And I'm dying to hear about dog food manufacturers who eat their own product.
 
Well said! I thought I was the only one annoyed by the pro-Facebook, anti-Google rhetoric spewing from Ben Parr on Mashable so it's mighty nice to find out that I'm not! The man is consistently making himself look like an idiot.
 
+Ayoub Khote I think I once heard about the originator of Alpo eating the canned food figuring if it was good enough for his best friend it was good enough for him too
 
+J.C. Kendall Marginally off-topic, I once met your former boss back in the day when he had just beat out Gary Kildall for the IBM contract and I was a reporter for the then-fledgling PC Week. I interviewed him over lunch at some trade show for an article I was writing. He proceeded to leave me with the tab (it was $5.37, btw), something which his subsequent PR handlers probably told him to never, ever do again, as reporters are never supposed to pay for their own meal. I wrote a nice article anyway, but he still owes me.

More on topic, I think it would be kind of silly for Google's execs to be heavy G+ users, and honestly, I wouldn't bother to add them to any of my circles if they were. To me, it indicates no lack of confidence in their product whatsoever.
 
There's no end to things MSFT says they invented that they actually cribbed from elsewhere.
 
+Avery Jenkins Dude, I'm happy to compensate you should we ever get together. Drinks will be on me. LOL. I'm assuming that Google execs are quite busy these days, than to be posting their cat pictures and Spotify selections. Rock on...
 
You don't want a list, do you? Trust me, you don't...They were best at eating somebody elses' dogfood, then claiming it was their recipe.

This is why they were the motivating force behind displacing the word "invention" with "innovation"; while they seldom actually invented anything, when they embraced/extended/extinguished something invented elsewhere, who could have said that's not "innovation"?

After all, it was the first time they did it.
 
they were the motivating force for displacing the word "invention" with "innovation" +Margaret Leber ? I thought that was Microsoft....lol
 
+Margaret Leber I've been up since 3am. I've got my handful of salt, ready to purify the canvas, but Margaret, I'm really sleepy..... I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage at the moment. But, we will engage, darlin, I promise you that....
 
Great article +J.C. Kendall , I mean, seriously, what world does +Ben Parr live in? I don't base my choice of vehicle on whether Ford, Chevy, Toyota or Nissan executives use them. I don't based my liking of Coca Cola on whether coca Cola executives drink it or not and I have never wondered whether McDonalds executives eat McDonalds or not. I don't really care. I can assume each one does but I 1) don't make it my business to find out as part of the decision making, 2) have to assume not everyone will like the same thing just because they all work there and 3) who the hell does anyways? Besides Ben Parr that is.

I have to agree his articles can easily be taken as coming from a guy with deep, deep inside connections but after ready that Facebook on iPad at iPhone 5 event failure, it's obvious he assumes for a living and tends to get lucky far too often that it never occures to him it will eventually catch up with him as it did with that article. Not only was an iPhone 5 not annouced but Facebook was not even mentioned as part of the iOS5 or the iPhone 4S, as a matter of fact Twitter was the one to get integrated if I recall. I guess Facebook/Apple relationships are not fairing as well as he thought. BTW, I wonder if he is aware that Facebook is facing a lawsuit due to the Timeline name and that Facebook supposedly decided to delay Timeline (which was suppsosed to be released today I believe) for "other" reasons?

I was never much of a Mashable person and only because of all the promotion Mashable was giving Google+ when it first started did I even bookmark the site. Now, all I see are a bunch of wanna be reviewers and experts who sound more like they are blogging rants that being journalist and tech experts. I am very disappointed with Mashable and even more with those who write on there. Such a shame.
 
I think that Ben needs to start his day with a nice hot cup of shut the fu@# up.
 
I think he starts his day with a cold mug of Assume and Pray, then act like a know it all a!@hole.
 
+Myles Marquette Or maybe he needs to stop going to Starbucks and reading peoples ipads and laptops looking for what's out there.
 
Reading the Mashable article and thinking ... its no one business but Google's business ... I believe Google selected the right spokespersons to engage and speak on behalf organisation. Referring to the (green & blue) pie segments, a good proportion of execs mentioned in the graphic interact regularly on the G+ site. What about Google's six independent board members who have never posted publicly on Google+ its not about 'leading by example' or 'lack of confidence in Google product' -- I think that the right people are in the right place at the right time doing a good job representing G+ engaging with the everyone.
 
Why the dog food analogy, it was totally out of context ... +J.C. Kendall & +Ayoub Khote made some valid points. 
 
Thanks for the feedback.

I call it as I see it, positive or negative. I think Google+ is a great product, but Eric Schmidt not having an account is just plain embarrassing. I think Facebook is a good product, but it has become too bulky for its own good.

I do find it interesting though that not one, not two, but THREE different Google SVPs started posting publicly yesterday after 6+ weeks of inactivity.

I have no dog in this fight. My job is simply to spark conversations like this one.

Thanks again,
- Ben
 
+Ben Parr , when will you call out Zuckerburger for not posting publicly on FB? As well as the rest of the Facebook SVP's? I want a count of how many of them post publicly on FB. Educate me Ben.
 
GUYS: This rebuttal is about to be PUBLISHED on MediaTapper.com! I've spent the past hour cleaning it up for distribution. Woo-Hoo!!
 
Congrats +J.C. Kendall! That will bring a lot of free publicity to your upcoming fight. We should discuss how to monetize it. I suggest we split 60/40 as usual.
 
+Ben Parr Dude, very classy of you to comment on this thread. I appreciate it, and though you know I have strong disagreement with your articles of late, I respect your willingness to enter into dialog. Well Done.
 
+stephanie wanamaker It's been nice getting to know you in Hangouts! There are tons of worthwhile Googlers that aren't execs, SVPs, VPs that are actively using Google+, and they love engaging with the community. Map props to them!
 
That is one of the reasons I stopped following Parr and Cashmore. I believe they are poor writers. They don't consider too many aspects of a story.
 
Thanks for the inside information.
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