SMX West

SMX West is coming to Santa Clara next week, Feb. 10-12. This was a great conference last year and it sounds like people are pretty excited about it again this time around. Danny Sullivan, John Battelle, and Vint Cerf are giving keynotes. I’ll be sitting on the Expert Technical Review panel at the end of the day. Webmasters will get a chance to get there site reviewed by panelists who will give feedback on potential improvements to be made if any.

I’ll be attending as many sessions as I can, and I enjoy meeting others in the industry. If you’re going, please find me and say hi!

The Auto Industry Bailout

I’ll start by saying I don’t support a government-sponsored bailout of the Big Three automakers in the U.S. Some quick rambling points:

  • I understand there are a lot of jobs at stake. However unfortunate, this is not a valid reason for the auto bailout.¬†
  • The Big Three have been struggling for years. The financial crisis is giving them an out.
  • If they don’t get a bailout,¬†they will file for bankruptcy, sell parts of the company, re-organize, and most likely become profitable automakers once again.
  • The government as auto industry manager? Seriously? That’s got to be a joke, because if it’s not, my brain might start to leak out of my nose.(I don’t hate the government, I just don’t think they should be making cars).
Here are a couple observations I have on the auto industry. It’s important to note I know very little about the inner workings of making a car from start to finish, etc. etc. Having said that:
  1. WTF is up with the process of going from concept to production? Why do the concept cars always look really sexy and awesome, then get totally destroyed by the time it gets to production? I’ve heard one simple explanation that goes something like this: the concept engineers come up with a car, then they send it to the production engineers who say “we can’t do this, this, this and this, it’s impossible” so they change everything to make it work. So they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on making a concept car that gets totally borked and re-designed? That seems like a broken system. I understand a car is a very complicated piece of machinery, but damn. Have you seen the before and after pictures of the Chevy Volt? (Before and after pics – the first one I took at Google campus):
I still like the newer look, but it’s still a big downgrade. This happens to be one of the most anticipated cars ever and I thought would be a good example.
  1. WTF is up with automobile advertising? Is it really worth spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a commercial for a truck with Dennis Leary as the voice-over, and then play it like 43 times during a football game? I understand there’s a certain value behind brand awareness, but c’mon. Auto advertising is broken and needs to be fixed. I think they could spend half the money and be twice as effective.
That is all.

Interview with Tech Talk Radio

Last week, I sat down with Tech Talk Radio to talk about blogs, feeds, and web spam. I was joined with my colleague Anindo – You can listen to the full two hour show or get the shorter podcast.

Tech Talk Radio is based out of Australia. They have Lidjia Davis based in the Silicon Valley for reporting and interviews. It was a pleasure meeting her, and getting the chance to sit and chat about some of the topics in the Google Search Quality world.