Google Needs "Public Editor" Like at NYT

Normally I love all the new releases from Google.  I give them the benefit of the doubt, and know they will refine them to make them even better.  However, the release of Buzz indicates that sometimes Google can get ahead of itself. I appreciate the intention of Buzz and can see how powerful it could become.  At the same time I found the user interface awkward because it was never clear to me with whom I was sharing an entry.  Now the recent news about how Buzz was making my contacts list public caused me great alarm.  My biggest fears were realized. I immediately turned off the service (bottom of the Gmail front page). This latest slip adds to the growing amount of concern I hear every day about what Google does with its data.  We all know they make lots of money from selling advertising on their sites, based on targeting ads according the data.  But what does that really mean? I believe Google would be wise to borrow a concept from the New York Times, who have appointed a Public Editor to listen to the readers, be an advocate for the public, and essentially keep them honest.  As a regular New York Times reader I have been impressed with some of the dust ups the Public Editor has taken on, and my overall impression is the role has improved the paper's credibility. Google's watchdog would need a different name, such as Privacy Advocate, but the intention could be the same.  The advocate would consider the user's data privacy and security concerns, review all Google offerings and practices for compliance, and speak out loudly when there are issues.  The most important thing would be for the person appointed to have the credibility, fire in the belly, and independence to do the job well and instill confidence.
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Wake up music industry!

Glen McDonald's well-reasoned open letter to the music industry bears some study. It is getting linked all over the net.   He is a music fan who is willing to pay for music, but is sick of all the tricks and nonsense -- like many of us.

Wake up music industry! Oh, and the movie industry needs to pay attention too.

Over and over we marketers see the advantages of giving customers what they want, and the perils of not meeting their needs.
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Yahoo! Music Unlimited Gets it Right! On the First Try!

I am impressed.  Normally I expect big companies (like Microsoft) to need several releases to get new products and services right.  That is the failure of marketing versus internal politics.

Yahoo! has broken this trend with their release of Yahoo! Music Unlimited.   I have become a fan of subscription music, and have tried most of the new services. Listen, from Rhapsody, was doing a good job for me for awhile. Then today I tried Yahoo! and was amazed at how much they got right on the first try. They have an impressive music catalogue. The use interface makes sense.  They have some good personalization.  And their transfer to other devices is very straight forward, as well as a nice bonus.   Note that I like it without even mentioning the category-killer price of $6.99 /month for pay-as-you go.

 Although I have signed up for the month-by-month service, I already feel I will stick around a while.   Good job Yahoo! marketing and technical teams!
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