Thursday, 17 April 2008

The biG problem

G**gle, we have a problem.

I often attend information retrieval conferences (that's part of my job). It is well known that, in recent years, at these conferences, one can feel an increasing negative attitude towards G**gle. The reason, stated bluntly, is that "they hire all our best PhDs - and even PhD students. That whouldn't be a problem per se; the problem is that they do not give anything back to the field: they do not publish, they do not provide query log data, they do not reveal the secrets of they search engine algorithms, etc. They take and do not give anything back".

One might say that G**gle gives back something: some free receptions at conferences. Well, that's not that much - also considering that they just feed us, and the food is... erm... far from excellent ;-)

More seriously, I see (I might be wrong) a further slight change in last months: there are rumors that people are beginning to leave G**gle. This is perhaps not surprising: who has been working there for 5 years or so has probably realized that he/she is "locked" there, with no career opportunity out there in the real world (if you don't publish, you won't get known); also, he/she is probably rich enough to afford leaving and (re)starting a career.

And this might make a big difference: if G**gle looses its people, it will loose everything. I mentioned these things to a couple of G**glers one week ago; let's see if this sorts any effect...


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