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Archive for August, 2006

StatCounter’s new recent visitor’s map

Posted on August 31, 2006 by Roland

I already wrote several times here about the free software tools that give you statistics about your audience. One of these tools is StatCounter which has recently added a new feature to its already long list. You can now view your recent visitors on a Google Map. It is quite ironic that Google Analytics also offers you to see where your visitors come from (here is an example), but not on a Google map.

Below is an example of such a map showing where the recent visitors to this blog came from.

Recent visitors on a Google Map

As far as I know, there are no options to generate such a map. I have no idea if the above map represents the visitors who came during the last hour, day or week. But I guess that some optional controls will soon be added.

As this is a Google map, it is fully clickable. Just click on a marker and StatCounter will give you all the details about a particular visitor. So another desirable option would be to only display a fixed number of visitors, such as the last 100 visitors.

But overall, this is a nice addition to an already great package. If you don’t have already a web tracking tool installed on your blog, try StatCounter and you’ll be happy.

Sources: Roland Piquepaille, August 31, 2006

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Greeting your visitors

Posted on August 28, 2006 by Roland

If you visit this page at Digital Inspiration, you might be surprised to be greeted by a message mentioning the city and the country where you are. In fact, it’s pretty easy to do. I gave you about some clues three months ago in “Where are your readers coming from?

Most of you know that all Internet requests contain several HTTP fields which permit to know a little bit about you. Of course, these tiny bits of information will not reveal if you love or hate cats, but they can provide some details about the browser or the operating system you use.

And except if you use an anonymizer service, your IP address, given by your ISP provider, will show where you come from — but not always.

This is also a trick used by the software you’ve installed to gather some statistics about your visitors and which tells you they came from 236 countries yesterday (just kidding!).

Anyway, you also can put such a welcome message on your blog. You just have to customize a small Javascript provided by IP2Location and its IP2Phrase service and shown on the page mentioned above.

I just want to add a warning before you customize and install this script on your site or your blog. Some of your potential readers might not be pleased to discover that you know where they live.

Finally, please let me know if you think that this tool is useful — or not.

Sources: Amit Agarwal, Digital Inspiration, August 26, 2006; and various web sites

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Sun’s General Counsel opens his blog

Posted on August 23, 2006 by Roland

Mike Dillon, Sun's General CounselMike Dillon is not an ordinary blogger. He’s currently working for Sun Microsystems where he’s holding three positions as General Counsel, Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary, as said his official bio. But as SYS-CON Media recently reported, he also opened a blog about ten days ago, becoming the the first Fortune 500 GC to start a blog. Does he have interesting things to say? Definitively yes, but read more…

Mike Dillon’s blog is aptly named the legal thing… and contains already six posts. Below are some excerpts.

In his second post, Dillon acknowledges the fact that Sun was eliminating 5,000 jobs, as Sun’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz also wrote two months ago (read more). But Dillon decided to ‘help’ people who lost their jobs by allowing them to continue to speak on Sun’s community forums.

Many of the employees who are impacted are also active members of our blogging community. Naturally, the question is what do we do? Should we shut off their access to blogs.sun.com? That is [the] choice most companies would make. Indeed, some attorneys advised that we take this approach. The thinking was that it would minimize disruption, negative external perceptions and reduce the risk of litigation.

Here’s what we did instead. We created a site for all former employees to blog as part of our Sun alumni community. I have to admit that I held my breath when the site went live. But, far from being a magnet for angry ex-employees or litigation, the site has developed into a wonderful and supportive community made up of some very talented and creative people. For those of you seeking these types of employees.

And the result of this initiative is community.sun.com. Very brave, and very bright…

Now, let’s move to another post about the diversity of people working at Sun — and more generally in Silicon Valley.

Once a quarter, we pick an employee who describes, in a recorded presentation, the business, legal, and social environment in which he or she works. Personal insights are often provided as well. It’s an interesting way for someone working in the Bay Area or Bangalore to understand what it is like to work in Dubai, or Budapest or Caracas or…

Of course, you might think it’s just a clever — and cheap — way to make people feel better. Don’t be that cynical!! It really works, as long as there is no exaggeration.

Now, I want you to look at what a Sun executive is talking about with his son.

Last night, my son asked me “what kind of computers does your company make?” I was eager for the opportunity to get him excited about what I do and where I work. So, I told him about our new X64 enterprise systems. I even tried discussing our plans to open source Java. In the end, I failed miserably. Instead, of childish wonder, all I saw in his eyes was polite boredom.

You see, his 10-year old frame of reference consists of the Apple systems we use at home (love my new MacBook Pro). This was disappointing for me. I wanted him to be proud of where I work and at least minimally competitive in that classic playground duel of…”My dad works at…”. Granted I didn’t expect to dethrone the traditional incumbents, but a father has to dream.

Congratulations to Mike Dillon for entering the blogosphere! Sometimes, it’s even a more difficult ‘universe’ than the corporate world.

And when a high-ranked executive of a company like Sun writes he’s using a Mac at home, I’m willing to trust him — and his company. Do you agree with me or do you think I’m too candid? Please let me know.

Sources: Various links mentioned above

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IBM wants to speed up Google’s PageRank

Posted on August 21, 2006 by Roland

You all know that PageRank is the name of an algorithm — trademarked and patented — used by Google to sort the billions of records in its databases. And while the patent about PageRank has already been updated twice since 2001, other companies also patented various methods for other sorting algorithms. The latest is IBM, which recently received a patent to speed up PageRank, as ‘SEO by the SEA’ reported earlier this month. I’m using Google since September 1999 and I never found that its search engine was slow. So what are the motives of IBM? Read more…

Before looking at the new IBM patent, here is a little bit of history about Google’s Pagerank, as I told you previously in this post. And of course, check what says Wikipedia, which reminds us that the name “PageRank” is a trademark of Google — since March 2, 2004 if you search through the records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — but that the multiple patents about the algorithm have been granted to Stanford University — to The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University to be precise.

Three patents were granted to Lawrence — not Larry — Page and Stanford University by USPTO about this sorting method.

As you can see, the first and the third patents carry the same name. But the three patents also contain almost the same figures. Below is a figure describing how PageRank works (Credit: Stanford University/USPTO).

How works Google's PageRank

Now, here is an interesting paragraph written by William — Bill — Slawski about the new IBM patent.

Rather than describing what the patent contains, I’m going to recommend looking at the paper I refer to in the first paragraph of this post, which is an excellent summary of many of the ideas in the patent. Both patent and paper discuss how difficult it is to compute pagerank for all of the pages on the web, and offer a few solutions which increase speed while also reducing possible errors.

For more information, Slawski is talking about a technical raper published by IBM Almaden Research Center in November 2001, “PageRank Computation and the Structure of the Web: Experiments and Algorithms” (PDF format, 5 pages, 64 KB).

For more details, here is a link to the new IBM patent, System and method for rapid computation of PageRank (Patent 7,089,252 dated August 8, 2006).

Here are some parts from the abstract.

The method comprises obtaining a plurality of documents, and determining a rank of each document. The rank of each document is generally a function of a rank of all other documents in the plurality of documents which point to the document and is determined by solving, by equation-solving methods (including Gauss-Seidel iteration and partitioning) of a set of equations wherein:.alpha..alpha..times..times..times..times. […]

If this language is too esoteric for you, below is one of the figures associated with this patent (Credit: IBM/USPTO).

How works Google's PageRank

And here is an explanation of this figure given in the claims of the patent.

Considering the large-scale structure of the web, the arguments for using an equation-solving approach become even stronger. As is now well known, the graph structure of the web may be described by the “Bow Tie.” The Bow Tie web structure generally comprises input segments and output segments. The input and output segments are connected to the strongly connected component. Input nodes are coupled to the input segment and output nodes are connected to the output segment. An interconnecting node directly couples the input segment and the output segment.

This “Bow Tie” theory is better explained in this other IBM document which also contains a better illustration.

After reading all these exciting patents, what do you think of the new one from IBM? Does it make sense to you? Does want IBM license it to Google? Please send me your thoughts.

Sources: William Slawski, SEO by the SEA, August 13, 2006; and various web sites

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A new war between Sun and HP?

Posted on August 19, 2006 by Roland

This time, the two computer companies are not fighting for market share, but about a wooden sculpture of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, the HP founders. As wrote ‘The Register’ in Sun buys Hewlett and Packard, HP refused to put a Hewlett and Packard sculpture in its lobby. So Sun decided to buy the sculpture for over $6,000 and to show it in a variety of places, including its own headquarters. Why am I telling you this? It’s because Sun and HP executives are now fighting on their blogs. And this is where it becomes funny. But read more…

First, here are the facts as reported by the Register.

In a crafty public relations stunt, Sun has acquired a wooden sculpture of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard and decided to send the object on the road to find HP’s “sense of humor.” A local artist had offered the Hewlett and Packard sculpture, which is part of a larger collection, to HP corporate, but the company passed. So, Sun stepped in with $6,000 and bought the Silicon Valley legends.

Hewlett, Packard and SchwartzAnd Jonathan Schwartz, CEO and President of Sun Microsystems Inc., decided to tell his side of the story on his blog in Acquiring Hewlett Packard’s Legacy.

When presented with the opportunity to purchase the likeness of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, it having made the trek from the printer ink section of a San Jose Office Depot, our friends at HP elected not to honor their founders. So out of respect for HP’s legacy, the fine folks in Sun’s marketing team decided to acquire the artwork. Bill and Dave are absolute legends, held in the deepest respect by all of us at Sun. We were honored at the opportunity. So we bought them, and their garage, for $6,000.

As less as a year ago, HP would have probably not replied to what can be seen as a provocation. Do you remember when Schwartz, at the time number 2 at Sun, attacked HP about the future disappearance of HP-UX? Here is what I wrote in May 2005 about this fight.

In August 2004, when Jonathan Schwartz, chairman of Sun Microsystems, wrote in a blog entry that HP-UX was a “dying” operating system, HP replied with a letter of its legal department asking Sun to remove the blog entry. Of course, Sun rejected the request. But in terms of strategies of communication, it was something like a fight between tools from the 19th and the 21st centuries.

But in 2006, things have really changed. And Eric Kintz, who has the official title of “Vice President Global Marketing Strategy & Excellence” at HP, decided to reply to Schwartz on his own blog in “Something new under the Sun.” Here are some excerpts of what he wrote.

As reported on the SFGate blog, it’s true, we were asked if we could store or display the Bill and Dave figures in our lobby and declined. Sun went so far as to purchase them for $6,000 and plant them in front of their sign.

We strongly value our humble beginnings and the vision of our innovative founders. You can find portraits of Bill and Dave in our lobby; we retained their offices in the condition they were in when they left them and keep them open to everyone here at HP (in the middle of the labs). We also embarked in the last years on a significant effort to preserve the garage on Addison Avenue, where it all began for us and for Silicon Valley. I never met Bill or Dave, but I bet neither of them would have approved paying thousands for representations of themselves.

I don’t know what you think, but personally, I think it’s a healthy debate which can only benefit consumers — if other industries follow the road built by these executives at these well-known technology companies.

But what are your thoughts? Do you think that this ‘fight’ between executives of such large companies is interesting or just ‘childish’? Please send me your thoughts.

Sources: Ashlee Vance, The Register, August 17, 2006; and various blogs

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The first intergalactic blog

Posted on August 16, 2006 by Roland

Technorati may track more than 50 millions blogs on Earth. But do you know that there are more than 10 trillion spacebloggers from over 300 different planets? At least, I found one, Zmod’s World, which tells us what’s happening on the planet Bartoch, located on the other side of our galaxy. And if it is the first intergalactic blog going live, it will not be the last. ‘According to a recent survey in The Alien Times, the trend in spaceblogging has surged by over 2000% over the last four years.’ If you find other space blogs, please tell me about them and I’ll build an index of blogs in our galaxy and in distant ones. But read more…

My Alien Penfriend, a book by Faiz KermaniOf course, if you’re still reading this post, you already understood that this blog is just a clever sales trick. But it proves that a blog can be used to promote your work or your company. In this case, Faiz Kermani, a writer living in the U.K., just wanted to sell more copies of his book, “My Alien Penfriend.” But even if it is a joke, the contents of this blog are worth reading. Here is an example.

Earth has so many countries — Darius [, who lives on Earth in London,] tells me there are 541 countries. That’s a huge number! We only have 18 countries and so it makes everything a bit easier to run. I know that on Earth there are a lot of wars and disasters. I suppose it’s because there are so many countries and their governments don’t agree with each other.

We used to have a lot of wars here but thankfully there are a lot less now. A lot changed when our planet decided to set up the Mind Complex, rather than leaving it up to governments to make decisions. Only the best Bartochians can join the Mind Complex and they have to go through a special selection procedure. After the admission ceremony the candidate’s brain energy is fused with those of the other members in the central processor in Bilgop City. This means that when the Mind Complex makes a decision, it has the opinions of all the best minds of Bartoch to do so.

Don’t you think we might live better if such an idea was implemented on Earth? But I digress… In the mean time, Zmod has another suggestion for you if you want to make new friends around our galaxy. You just have to send your name, your spacemail address and 20 electronic Earth credits to the Inter-Galactic Space Club.

Once we’ve received your details we’ll send you a special password so that you can access the Members Section of our special intergalactic computer. In the Member’s Section you’ll find all the instructions you need to create a page that only you can access. As soon as you’ve done this, you can begin spacemailing the penfriend of your choice!

Your spacemails will be translated and then transmitted electronically to the club computers on other planets twice ever month.

I hope you enjoyed the contents of this spaceblog. That’s all folks!

Sources: Faiz Kermani’s various web pages, August 2006

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Technorati and me

Posted on August 13, 2006 by Roland

Last week, Technorati announced that it was now tracking more than 50 millions blogs. Of course, this number has been abundantly quoted — both by bloggers and newspapers, but only a small minority questioned the validity of Technorati’s report (see below for more). In fact, even if these numbers are somewhat biased, one thing is sure: the number of blogs continue to increase as shows how Technorati ranks my blogs. Read more…

Let’s look back for a minute to the Technorati report, which was widely quoted, but not questioned — probably because it has some nice colored charts… Still, some people said the report underestimated the number of blogs because the company is not accurately watching some blogging services in Asia or in France which have millions of users. Others said the number was an exaggeration because Technorati includes millions of ’spam’ blogs and dead — or inactive — blogs. As both trends are going in opposite directions, I will just assume that the number of blogs continue to increase.

Before moving to personal observations, please read this post from Kevin Burton, “Technorati’s Numbers are Wrong.” Of course, he might be biased, being the founder of Tailrank, another company tracking blogs for reporting news.

But he quotes another post from the Data Mining blog which is worth mentioning: “When one looks at population statistics, one doesn’t count all the dead people. Why do the same for blogs? The size of the blogosphere should include a clear description of active blogs.”

Now, let’s look at how Technorati measured the evolution of my two technology blogs in the last three months.

First, you need to know that Technorati ranks a blog according to the number of sites and links pointing to it. The most important criterion is the number of sites linking to your blog. Technorati considers that such a link is valid if it appears on a home page and is less than six months old. In other words, if I have a link to John Doe’s blog on my welcome page — like in my blogroll — and if I mention Doe’s posts once a week, Technorati will only count one vote from me.

So, now let’s look at the numbers given by Technorati about Roland Piquepaille’s Technology Trends. On May 1, 2006, this blog was ranked as #6,390, with 637 links coming from 237 sites. Three months later, on August 1, 2006, it is ranked as #7,329, with 689 links coming from 282 sites.

And on May 1, 2006, my ZDNet blog, Emerging Technology Trends was ranked as #3,103, with 802 links coming from 414 sites. Three months later, on August 1, 2006, it is ranked as #3,679, with 868 links coming from 488 sites.

Clearly, there is a trend here: more sites are linking to these two blogs while their global rank is decreasing. And there is only one explanation for this: the number of blogs tracked by Technorati has increased.

Have you seen similar trends with your blogs — if you care about of course? Let me know.

Sources: Various web sites and blogs

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Some designing rules for a professional blog

Posted on August 10, 2006 by Roland

So you have a blog and you’re happy with it. You like the layout, the fonts and the overall presentation. But have you thought that a professional blog, like any other publication from your company, needed to follow some rules and had to include some mandatory elements? This is true that the templates provided by the software providers give you lots of choices. But you have to think that a company blog is a business project. And these software companies will not help you to build a good design map. Here are some tips about what you should think about before starting a new blog — or revamping one of your existing ones. But read more…

I’ve enrolled two bloggers from New Zealand to help me for this. Let’s start with a chart provided by a CAD designer ‘named’ RobiNZ Blog (Credit: RobiNZ).

Design for a company blog

Does your blog follow these design rules? I have to say that mine doesn’t conform completely to them.

Now, let’s turn to Rachel Cunliffe who listed several steps for designing a professional blog in this post. Here is a summary of her ideas — and mine.

  • Decide with your customer what is the real purpose of his blog
  • Design a layout and tweak the design of the blogging templates to accommodate his requests
  • Revisit your design after a month or two according to the comments received, both from your customer and from the readers
  • And never forget to check — and acknowledge — your errors!

These are essential steps in my opinion. Do I miss something? Please let me know.

Source: Rachel Cunliffe and RobiNZ, New Zealand, March 2006

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What are the economics of “the Long Tail”?

Posted on August 7, 2006 by Roland

I already wrote two notes about Chris Anderson’s book, “The Long Tail.” And Henri Kaufman, who knows more about marketing than the vast majority of us, wrote even more interesting ones on one of his blogs. I mostly agree with what he writes (in French), especially that he has to pull comments out of his notes in order to make them ‘visible’ (check this previous post for my opinion about the visibility of comments). Anyway, in this last note about what Henri calls the “Comet’s Tail,” our guide will be a professor at Harvard Business School. Read more…

The title of James Heskett’s article is longer than some bloggers’ posts, “What Happens When the Economics of Scarcity Meets the Economics of Abundance?,” but it’s also pretty interesting for people who believe that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Here are some excerpts.

The “Long Tail” describes the region of the item “popularity curve” comprising the vast population of least-popular items, whether it is song titles, books, or little-known brands. Life in the Long Tail is a busy routine involving the downloading of anything digital from the Internet; paying for some things, such as iTunes, but sharing and trading many others.

It is a world where everything digital is available at all times. And because of the very low cost of maintaining and distributing inventory, everything is likely to remain available forever, enabling the occasional gem of intellectual property to survive “in print” or in circulation. It is a world of non-zero-sum thinking.

But is this viable? The contents of this blog — and of millions of other ones — are freely available. Does this mean everything can be free? In fact, what are the economics of “the Long Tail”?

If so much is free, can money be made there? Because if there is no money to be made, many would regard this as a quaint set of beliefs held by people about to come face-to-face with the real world. Anderson describes three conditions critical to potential long-tail profits, all of which are provided by the Internet combined with creative new software and hardware: drastically reduced costs of creation, increased ease of distribution, and search devices employing “filters” and user recommendations that make all of what is available accessible and understandable to potential consumers.

As it is my last post on this subject — at least for a while — let me you ask some questions: Who will benefit from this Long Tail? Customers, producers, or middlemen (they’re still there)? And even if I don’t think it can be applied to all sectors of distribution, what is your opinion?

Source: James Heskett, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, August 4, 2006; and other web sites

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Interview: Taraneh Razavi, Doctor at Google

Posted on August 4, 2006 by Roland

Taraneh Razavi, Doctor at GoogleTaraneh Razavi is not your ordinary physician. She’s the doctor at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, where she’s in charge of maintaining the Googlers in good health. But she’s also interested in how tech trends affect our health and preventive care in general. A few months ago, she started a very well-done and informative blog about these subjects, Dr. Razavi’s Good to Know Info. And she was nice enough to answer my questions about her multiple activities and how she feels about blogging while working at Google. Below is a transcript of the long exchange I had with Taraneh, who wants to make the world a better place.

Roland: Why did you start your blog? Did you only want to help Google employees or other people in the world?

Taraneh: When I started working at Google, I realized that I had a “captive” audience (that is, I could reach out to employees via general email) whom I could update on health information. It was easy to see that Googlers — and every one else in this industry — works very hard.

Despite our best efforts at Google to create options for balancing work and play, sometimes Googlers neglect preventative measures to health — that can take a back seat to their work because they are so engaged. So they need reminders to take care of themselves. I also realized that those who go to the Internet for medical information often came to me with invalid or confusing information.

So I started by sending general health advice — about ergonomics at work, dealing with stress, advice for people who fly a lot, and so on — to employees via general email. Sergey Brin is the one who suggested writing the blog so that others could benefit from it.

Roland: Did you start your blog just after being hired by Google or after several months?

Taraneh: I started it after a year. I didn’t even know what a blog was when I started at Google. I felt like Dr. McCoy on the Starship Enterprise, a little out of place. However, a Googler named Simon Field helped get me started, and now I rely on three others in the company when I have questions about the high-tech aspects of the blog: Karen Wickre, Eric Case, and Todd Markelz. Initially my posts were featured on the official Google Blog, but as I started writing more posts, then I created my own blog under my own name.

I was glad to have started with the official company blog as the legal department made me aware of the possible liabilities involved with offering health advice to the general public. I was fairly naive about those implications, but now I know about the importance of making the right disclaimer in the blog itself.

Roland: Blogging takes time, especially when you have to deal with health and to check your sources of information. Do you blog on your own time or during the 20% of the working time allowed by Google to its employees to work on personal projects?

Taraneh: You are so right about the heavy time requirement especially for health topics. I reference everything so that takes even more time. (Apparently this is not done too frequently on health and medical blogs — backing up opinions with current research is more labor-intensive for sure.) I do it on my own time.

When Sergey first suggested blogging to me, my response was half jokingly, “What, more work?” But now I’m hooked. Not to be a “company woman,” but what makes me willing to spend the extra personal time is the genuine idealism of our founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and their goal of making the world a better place. It’s easy to be on board with that. Unfortunately I’m too busy at work to have that extra 20% time.

Roland: Are you happy with your blog’s traffic (inside and outside Google)?

Taraneh: I didn’t have any expectations when I started the blog. I am happy to have any one read it, even one person, although I put so much work into it that it would be nice to have as many people as possible read the information.

At this point I know that I’m reaching more people on a daily basis via the blog than I can reach by seeing patients at my office. Sometimes I check Google Blog Search and other blog search engines to see how far and wide my posts are being linked – that’s exciting. I believe I have had about 60,000 hits since April.

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Roland: Do you have positive — and private, by email — reactions of people reading your blog?

Taraneh: Yes, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedbacks that I have received. That also helps to motivate me. Here are a few comments.

  • “Hello, I have been reading your blog for a few months and felt that perhaps I should let you know that I appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to inform those of us who may not have knowledge of the information you blog. I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to move to come.”
  • “As a former public health nurse epidemiologist…I am thrilled to see this type of info online. Way to go Dr. Razavi! …”
  • “It’s so awesome to have a real doctor amoung [sic] us!”
  • “I too am new to your site and it is wonderful! Such awesome info! I wish I would have had this info when my family was camping last year. My husband had a “tick attack” and it was pretty scary when you don’t know what to do. Great job!”

Roland: As people don’t read a blog for a long time (15 seconds according to Jakob Nielsen), how can you be sure that people REALLY read your advises?

Taraneh: This is a good question. I was not aware of this 15 second rule. I will have to make the blogs even shorter which is very hard to do when I’m trying to explain medical information in layman’s terms. I suppose that most of the regular readers are going to the site because they are interested in this particular type of information so they are more likely to read the complete blog.

Then again, even in my office, I’m not sure that all of the advice is heard. There is a study that says patients in doctor’s offices (even if they are physicians themselves) only hear 20% of the information that is given to them. At least with a blog they can always go back to it.

When you receive Google employees in your medical office, do you hear people telling you “Don’t talk about what I have on your blog”?

Taraneh: No, no one has asked me that. Googlers seem to be all for sharing information — as long as it’s done anonymously, in the case of medical information, of course.

Roland: Are there any particular health problems at Google because of long working hours or because of the food now that the star cook has left?

Taraneh: Actually we have a number of chefs now, not just one, and many cafes. All of them focus on healthy food now, less junk food, less salt, etc. I have found the chefs to be very responsive to any suggestions that I’ve had. There is also a nutritionist on staff with whom I discuss the menu occasionally.

I think that the long working hours is the plague of the Bay Area, and possibly all technology companies, and not just of Google. As mentioned earlier it often leads to neglect of preventive health measures and a more sedentary lifestyle. I think that one of the reasons that Sergey wanted me to start this blog is that the health problems Googlers may be developing are shared by other companies.

Roland: I’ve seen on your blog that you seem to enjoy quizzes. Are these posts more popular than regular advises?

Taraneh: It depends on the topic. I think people — especially those who are in this industry or in the blog world — may pay a little more attention to this format.

Roland: Speaking of quizzes, did you have to solve some math puzzles or riddles before being hired?

Taraneh: No, I did not, although I know that some people are asked these types of questions. If I were asked a riddle then I would have had to ask them a medical question :)

I have to say that I have also benefited from having a blog. By writing the posts, I reinforce the information that I have read, and I am more motivated to read after a long hard day at work.

Roland: Taraneh, I want to thank you for the time you spent with me — and for the long hours of work you put to publish your excellent work.

[Note: if you want to subscribe to Taraneh’s news feeds, here are the links to her RSS feed and to her Atom feed.]

[Disclaimer: As I didn’t want Taraneh to get into trouble for publishing her views outside Google, I’ve asked her to be sure our exchange would be approved by her company. So this interview has been read by Google PR department.]

Source: Taraneh Razavi, August 3, 2006

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