That’s Courtney Hohne, PR manager at Google (she’s pulling some of the hard-to-come-by Google stickers out of her bag to give to me, gotta love a PR person who hands out swag. I promptly stuck one on my tripod).
Her claim to fame? She was the one who did the PR for the Google Apps for Your Domain press coverage last week. She told me she didn’t have any ulterior motive other than she didn’t brief enough people and got heck for it (even Business Week’s Rob Hof says he wasn’t briefed). I told her don’t brief me, but start with the Z list — a blogger with four readers will get noticed almost as quickly as if Michael Arrington wrote it. She told me that she’ll try to make more use of the email mailing lists that Google is building over on the Google Press Center, so if you’re a blogger you might want to subscribe to their mailing lists if you want to get news from Courtney. Anyway, I respected Courtney a lot for coming out and meeting with me. That’s the sign of a good PR practitioner, they take the bad with the good.
Speaking of good and bad PR, did you see Frank Shaw’s blog? He runs the Microsoft account for Waggener Edstrom and he had to clean up a mess by another PR guy in the UK who said “I don’t get blogs.” If a PR person said that to me I’d say “I don’t get why you’re still employed.”
It seems to me that if you don’t understand something you should work hard to understand it.
Which, brings me to Google Calendar. I wrote last week that I don’t get why I should use Google Calendar instead of Exchange and Outlook. So, yesterday I met with the Google Calendar team to explain why I missed Outlook. Really I do.
Some things that bugged me, though, like how when I just accidentally click on the Google Calendar it wants to create an event for me, are actually features that they discovered in user testing. At least that’s what Carl Sjogreen, the guy who runs the Calendar team, told me. He said that before they added that users couldn’t figure out how to add a new event and after they added that they could.
He also showed me how they build the Web into everything they do, and don’t just make it an afterthought. For instance, I can share my calendar with you in a variety of ways. I could just share my calendar out with you as a Web page (I almost did that, but I realized there’s some stuff on there that people sent me in confidence, so can’t share that, sorry). Or, I can build a specialized calendar and share that with you in a box on my blog to the right. That kind of Web-thought is deep at Google and is going to be how they come at the Enterprise world.
You might not switch your Outlook/Exchange calendar to Google for many years to come, but they’ll come in the back door by getting you to start new calendars that you can share with your family, friends, and with the Internet at large. I’m going to do a new calendar just for my video show, for instance, and share that with you so you’ll be able to see both interviews that are upcoming as well as shows that I’ve both published and that are going to come up. I’ll try to have that calendar done by the end of the weekend.
Yeah, he admitted that they have a lot of work to do on mobile phone sync and the other stuff I asked for (offline, for instance and better email integration). When Google solves those problems they’ll have something very interesting that will see usage inside corporations.
Anyway, after talking with Google yesterday I headed off to meet Kaboodle’s CEO, Manish Chandra. He designed Kaboodle to make it easier to keep track of projects you’re doing on the Web. That sounds pretty cold compared to what it really does though. Let’s say you’re planning out a vacation and you’re visiting dozens of sites, keeping track of the places you want to visit, or the hotels you’re considering and you’re working with other family members. Kaboodle helps you store all those Web sites and pieces of things you’re tracking, and put them in one place, and also collaborate with other people on them. Pretty cool stuff.
Last night Daniel McVicar (who has been an actor on the popular soap opera “The Bold and The Beautiful” had dinner with me last night). I didn’t even realize just how big a star he was until I read his Wikipedia page this morning. He has a funny vlog. Last night he was wearing a Ze Frank t-shirt (I snapped a picture of that on my Flickr feed. Hey, he’s in the ORG! Watch out for those “little duckies.” He can’t get the damn song out of his head either. Heh, Rabbit Bites made fun of his vlog already.
Hope you’re having a good Friday. While I was out meeting the geeks and interviewing people more than 50 more emails came in that haven’t been answered yet (and that’s after cleaning out the ones that aren’t important or were spam). Yikes. I’m gonna take the weekend off and see if I can catch up on my email a bit. Have a great one (it’s Labor Day weekend here in the United States, thanks to everyone who does the work that keeps this world running).