Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Pit o' winter blog.

Snowed most of the day here in Chicago. At least it isn't ice, though there was some of that on my car windows this morning, and upon application of one of my ice scrapers, it immediately broke. Bah. I demand value for my 99ยข made-in-China goods.

A couple of correspondents have informed me that Michael E. Bartell really is the FDIC's chief information officer, as the electronic con men put in the scam e-mail I posted yesterday. That information was only a Google search away, no doubt, but I didn't feel like looking him up.

I fear for the future of Google, actually. Not because I know much about the company, but because it's too good, from the user's point of view. (And, as it happens, blogspot has been a good deal more reliable since Google bought it.) One of the unwritten, widely followed precepts of management is never leave well enough alone. Or in this case, never leave very good alone. So far, Google's managers have been astute about not doing mucking up their operation, but the company is young, and they will have successors.

I've read a few articles about the success of Google in various places, but not anywhere a discussion of what I consider its recipe for being a good search engine. I remember in the early days of popularly available search engines, I was constantly irritated by results -- the first few, or first ten, or more -- that were clearly advertisements, but not acknowledged as such. Google has search-result ads, but they're not onerous and clearly marked. As soon as I figured that out, I never used much else, and I don't think I'm alone in that.

Were I not so tired, I would offer some bad management stories, especially from the first publishing company I ever worked for, which was rife with lousy management. Perhaps tomorrow.


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