From Search Engine Strategies to San Francisco

I am a passionate Google observer and interacting with the company in person, in its own “habitat,

For this Silicon Alley native, it was a pleasure to be in the heart of Silicon Valley last week covering the Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose.

The current Silicon Valley star, Google, had starring roles at the conference:

CEO Eric Schmidt in conversation with host Danny Sullivan and in a Q & A with press:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt: 'all world's information includes personal information'

Google CEO Eric Schmidt: transparency, or more 'Google Speak'

Google CEO Eric Schmidt on recession, competition: Google makes more money

Google Dance extravaganza at the Googleplex in Mountain View:

Google Dance: Fun at the Googleplex

I am a passionate Google observer and interacting with the company in person, in its own “habitat,” was insightful.

On the Google bus ride from the San Jose Convention Center to the Googleplex for the Google Dance, I sat with a new Google AdWords recruit.

The twenty-something Googler epitomized Google’s desire to recruit people sharing the vision that “There's still so much for us to dream and do.”

According to Google Jobs:

Can one conversation change the world?

Quick and direct access to information can deliver news from abroad, encourage a child's curiosity, and reunite long-lost friends. It can also produce ideas that transform how people live their lives.

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At Google, our strategy is simple: we hire great people and encourage them to make their dreams a reality. We believe in hard work, a fun atmosphere, and the sort of creativity that only comes about when talented people from diverse backgrounds approach problems from varying perspectives. Googlers have been Olympic athletes and Jeopardy champions; professional chefs and independent film makers. And whether you work at our headquarters in Mountain View, California, or in any of our locations around the world, we think you'll find Google a place where you can aspire to outsized accomplishments.

There's still so much for us to dream and do.

At the conference, however, Google’s seeming ambush of industry collaborators at the “Auditing Paid Listings & Click Fraud Issues,” panel, epitomized Google’s desire to dominate via ruthless competition:

Click Fraud: What does Google fear?

Schmidt’s presentations were also emblematic of Google’s $113 billion market cap success; Signature Google bravado: long on colorful phraseology, but short on substance.

Following the Search Engine Strategies Conference, I spent several days in San Francisco.

Although my stay was brief, I felt like a local; I made daily stops at a neighborhood Internet café and at a local “lounge”.

My ZDNet stories were posted from “What a Grind” on Post Street, where a $5 café purchase includes unlimited Wi-Fi access.

Proprietor Sam invites all to “Drop By and Say Hello”:

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On your way to work or on the way home. Get a cup and enjoy the comfortable, friendly atmosphere of this great gem of a coffee house.

And while your there, say hello and tell Sam your problems, and he will tell you his. There's no charge for the therapy.

In a “friendly atmosphere” of a different nature, I enjoyed $3 glasses of Champagne and $3 Irish Coffees at the legendary “Gold Dust Lounge” on Powell Street, a favorite of locals and tourists alike.

One-of-a-kind San Francisco experiences also enjoyed: ferry ride to Sausalito for a seafood lunch overlooking the bay and a sunrise cable car ride.

Looking forward to returning to Silicon Valley and San Francisco soon!

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