Google Honors Dr. King

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the US. It’s a federal holiday to celebrate the birthday of Dr. King and recognize the impact his activism had in the US.

Google has paid homage to Dr. King with the following rendition of its logo on the Google homepage.

Google Dr. King

Whether you are at work or having a day off, we always encourage some reflection on things bigger than Internet marketing on days like this.

New Google UK HQ to Cost About $1.6B US

Google MoneyIn numbers that are usually reserved for someone like the Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones, Google is spending a lot of money to build a UK headquarters in London.

The Guardian reports

Google has completed a £1bn property deal to move its UK headquarters to a brownfield site in London’s King’s Cross area.

The US technology giant has purchased a 2.4 acre site between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations and plans to build a seven and 11 storey complex due to be complete in 2016.

Google already has two central London offices – one in Victoria and one on St Giles High Street – from where staff are expected to be relocated.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why the company tops the best companies to work for list again this year?

Google Tops Fortune’s ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ List

google-logoOK, for those of you who are in a dead end job you may not want to read about the world’s best companies to work for according to Fortune magazine.

Of course, what makes it worse is that the company that so many readers have a love / hate relationship with, Google, sits on top of the heap for 2013 as it did last year and two other times as well.

The Next Web boiled down the list to pull out the tech players. What may bemost interesting is who is NOT there; Facebook and Apple.

1: Google
2: SAS
11: Qualcomm
19: Salesforce.com
22: Intuit
34: Rackspace Hosting
42: Cisco
63: Hitachi
68: Intel
75: Microsoft

LinkedIn Answers Shuts Down: Are We Over the Q&A Concept?

linkedin-answersLinkedIn notified users this week that they’ll be “retiring” LinkedIn Answers as of January 31.

“We will be focusing our efforts on the development of new and more engaging ways to share and discuss professional topics across LinkedIn. In the meantime, members can still pose questions and facilitate professional discussions through other popular LinkedIn channels including LinkedIn Polls, Groups, or status update.”

I didn’t know LinkedIn had a Q&A site but I’m not a big user of these kinds of sites anyway.

Yahoo Answers and Quora are the current leaders in the field, but you can also have your burning questions answered by Amazon’s Askville, Answers.com, WikiAnswers. . . the list really does go on and on. From the length of the list, it would seem to be a lucrative business but in 2006, Google retired (I love how they say that instead of shut down) Google Answers. Facebook shut down their version, Facebook Questions, before it ever had a chance to catch on. Now LinkedIn is closing up their version.

Companies Step Away from Social Media as a Customer Service Tool

cutomer service signA survey conducted in May of last year showed that 60% of businesses in the US and the UK use social media for customer service. They say they do it because it benefits their customers, but to me it always feels like a PR moment.

HandyDandy Tweets that his cable is out. The cable company responds moments later, saying they’re actively working on the problem and the whole world can see the exchange. There’s a problem but it’s being fixed – and in many cases, that’s all a person wants to know.

But it’s not quite that simple. According to Reuters, companies are rethinking their social media strategy and a few big names are taking customer service off the table.

New! The Bing Sidebar Now with Five Times More Facebook

social sidebarThis morning I woke up thinking, you know what would get me to use Bing more? Five times the Facebook content in the social sidebar. And then lo and behold, it happens. Will wonders never cease?

The social sidebar appears in the third column of results on a Bing page. The concept comes from the idea that you’ll be interested in hearing what your friends have to say about a particular subject. If you don’t have friends, the space might be filled with results from experts.

Facebook is the priority return, but the social sidebar also pulls results from Twitter, Foursquare, Quora, Klout, Google+.

Starting today, you will see an average of five times more Facebook content in the sidebar, “including status updates, shared links, comments and photos from your friends.”

Google CEO Calls Out Facebook for Producing Bad Products

Larry PageThere’s nothing like a friendly punch in the gut between competitors nowadays is there?

We’ll cut to the chase. In an interview with Wired magazine (hat tip to cnet) part of the interview reads as follows

Wired: One area where people say that Google is indeed motivated by competition is the social realm, where in the past two years you have been working hard in a field dominated by a single rival, Facebook. That’s not the case?