lizoke weekly links roundup – march 18 2012 – disgruntled employees rant on the web

This week Spring has come to Toronto and I have a feeling it is going to stay. That is all I have to say about that.

Some interesting things happening around the world this week. One being the Kony viral video, and the aftermath that ensued. The creator of the film’s public breakdown, and the backlash against the Invisible Children charity from many angles. The one that really caught my attention was the point that focus should be on more current and relevant issues within Uganda – namely “nodding disease”.

There has been a few disgruntled ex-employee news pieces floating around – the most famous is the Goldman Sachs letter that appeared in the New York Times, an editorial written by a G&M columnist about why he left Bay St. for a substantially lower paycheck, and what I want to focus on, the ex-Google employee, James Whittaker.

The Google story is interesting because it shows a Google that is taking a very different path than it did a few years ago. Away from technology focus and more emphasis on social media and advertising. Again, it is a disgruntled ex-employee – but there could be some things to pay attention to in the message. A few years back, Google engineers were allowed to work on their pet projects for a percentage of their time – fostering the likes of gmail and a few other winners. This has changed:

 “The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”

The days of innovation are gone at the company, and Google is now more focused on competing with Facebook. Some have argued that Google+ will affect the company’s future success greatly. Its true, many have joined Google+, but it hasn’t necessarily taken off yet. I still hear crickets when I go into it.

As a marketer, I have made sure to set up company pages as it will definitely have an SEO effect. Only time will tell if they are able to make it work effectively – and snatch away the mass audience on Facebook. I also notice getting a much more tailored customer service experience in regards to AdWords. They recently restructured this area of the company and find my account team is much more attentive. It is sad to see that the company is focusing more on advertising revenue, but Google still the clear choice for searching online right now. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months.

I leave you with the Urban Dictionary’s definition of a disgruntled employee. Have a good week everyone!

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