Better conversations

For months, a post by Tom Hespos and a related post has rolled around in my head. In my mind, having a someone doing engineering communication (reading blogs, participating in forums, answering questions at conferences or online) has helped Google to get good feedback, and hopefully I’ve been able to help people in return.

But I can’t always keep up with everything going on outside Google, especially when I’ve got a traditional set of duties in the quality group and webspam. In normal Google tradition, when you have too much work for one CPU to do, you shard it across multiple computers. So I asked my manager if I could shard myself, and my manager said yes. After that, I kept my eyes open for people that I’d seen around the web and respected. I wanted someone with knowledge of search and who was intelligent, nice, patient, and well-spoken. When I saw that Adam was available, I invited him down to lunch, and I liked him a lot.

So a couple of months ago, he went through the interview process and Adam joined Google. We look a little bit similar, but we have different backgrounds. I’m a computer science guy; he’s got an MBA and a law degree. I know a ton about search, but not as much about Adwords these days. Adam had more experience with AdWords when he joined Google, but in the last couple months he’s been ramping up fast on websearch.

My hope is that Adam will help Google listen more, and will also grow into answering webmaster questions. We sent him to WMW Boston to soak up what Pubcons are like, and he’ll be at SES London as well. Sure, it will take time for him to ramp up, but he’s already been helping me a lot. For example, he’s been going through the WMW Boston emails and replying to them. He’s been handling outside email to me that I wouldn’t get a chance to respond to. Over the next couple months, we’re also going to throw Adam into our intensive training to become a webspam warrior. Plus he’s got my RSS feed list, and we’ve been practicing the fine art of spotting reports of good bug reports, and deciding who at Google to harass about them.

Please welcome Adam, and be gentle. :) He’s ramping up quickly, and I’m excited that he’s at Google.

22 Responses to Better conversations (Leave a comment)

  1. Jill

    That’s great, Matt! I’ve sharded myself recently too, and it’s a huge help.

    Congrats to both of you!

  2. Great to hear that you are being looked after. We don’t want health issues/mental breakdowns/marriage stress for anyone, let alone a face of Google that you are.

    All the best. Adam. You have big Inigo Montoya sword to learn how to wield.

  3. Harith

    Good morning Matt

    “Please welcome Adam, and be gentle.”

    Be genle to BlAdam? no way :D

    Best wishes to you Adam and welcome to the planet of Search, SEO and Spam.

  4. Welcome Adam.. I hope that you really act as an ear for google and hear out webmasters and their woes (and they wont stop once they start) so lets see how u actually cope with it Adam :). Good luck

  5. excellent news and a very positive move from our point of view (webmasters) – just shows that you do take our input seriously – I might even try to get to London SES now – cheers

  6. I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask questions but I’ll try. Delete this if you think it’s inappriopriate.

    My question is why Google are limiting the number of backlinks it shows. This just can’t be a good thing. The only result I see out of this is that people move to use something like Yahoo Sitemaps instead, a tool that shows a lot more backlinks.

    Are you afraid that people will try to get all your data URLs? Then limit the number of link: queries to each Google Account. 1000 queries per day like with the API? No problems.

  7. Wow! I wish folks in marketing communications at my client companies could shard themselves. Many of them see such a huge task in keeping on top of the conversation that they become overwhelmed. It’s especially tough because they were overwhelmed before they started blogging and participating. What I’m trying to convince them to do is hire more people, but keep the conversation distributed – no people 100% dedicated to blogging. The folks best equipped to represent the company to the market are the people who develop the products and live within the business. Someone 100% dedicated to blogging wouldn’t be able to adequately represent the company in online conversation. Participation in online conversations should be a responsibility shared by many.

    That’s a rather long way of saying that the idea behind the post you linked to has evolved somewhat since it was originally posted. But hey – that’s what blogging is all about, right? Bouncing ideas around like a piece of rock in a rock tumbler – you hope that when it finally emerges, it looks more like a gem than a rock.

  8. Adam welcome on board, good to hear you will be at SES London, surely you can make it over as well Matt? I highly suggest you attend the multilingual, multicountry and local search seminars as those are usually most interesting for understanding the difficult issues European SEM’s face.

  9. Teddie, I’m going to be on vacation then, so I won’t be able to make it to SES London. I’ve been to a couple in the past, plus SES Munich and SES Copenhagen, so I do appreciate the challenges of European SEM.

    T2DMan, that’s a great idea. I may very well bequeath my Inigo sword to Adam. :)

  10. Matt, let me know next time you shard.. :)

  11. MiniME
    Welcome on board MiniMatt

  12. Matt, I meant the seminar suggestions for Adam :)

  13. Adam , I liked your music, will it go for google music soon ?

  14. Georgi

    A MBA with background in jurisdiction? Welcome, sounds more than interesting whilst entering the search-enginge-world Adam! And remember: It’s all about not getting rusty. Well Google surely is a place not to drop in for that reason.

    Speaking about “a drop in”, Matt, could you talk to your Sitemap/indexing – teams? Got errors in sitemaps about pages that were ” Network unreachable”, but I think I can surely prove otherwise. No worry, no hurry, I’m no webmaster as such and SEO is not really my business, but Sitemaps/indexing gave me lately some “challenging brain work” (when I analyzed what I saw the last two month, especially the last two week : ).

    Greetings again and waiting for your first post in here, Adam! Vodka, Georgi :)

  15. Great idea. Welcome Adam and look forward to meeting you at SES or WMW conferences.

  16. Gary Elliott

    Welcome Adam,

    I have already bookmarked your blog. I hope you get the chance to post some interesting search related stuff.

  17. John Ryan

    Glad to see you active again, my morning coffee hasn’t been the same. Would be interested to see the RSS feed list you mentioned, if you’re up for sharing.

  18. Change your name, Adam.

    And hey, how are ya? :D

  19. I would really appreciate if google has a better customer support, for adsense-adwords. And better quality control also. It seems they are not checking the CTR or quality of sites.

    Lots of porn sites, sites forcing mebers to clik on ads etc, make lots of money. Thats bad for PPC business:(

  20. Hey everyone, thanks for the warm welcome and kind words!

    It’s already been a wild and enjoyable ride so far, and I’m particularly grateful to have a darn cool boss and a lot of great colleagues and Webmasters to meet and learn from over the next years.

  21. I had a chance to meet Adam at PubCon Las Vegas and have to say he really does meet your criteria of being a well-spoken, easy-to-talk-to kind of guy. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me Adam!

  22. Warm welcome to Adam, with an MBA and a Law background, I’m pretty sure he’s already helping Google with his unique experiences. All the best to all within Google.

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