Talkin' Google

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining several industry colleagues at the Harvard Club as a guest of Choice Media to have dinner and a roundtable discussion with author David Vise about his book - The Google Story. After sitting down to dinner, host Chris Schroeder asked some interesting questions about Google, why they're so successful, and what challenges they face on the horizon. David cited the click fraud problem as a big challenge and described to the audience what constituted click fraud. I was surprised when someone from AvenueA/Razorfish (I didn't catch her name) insisted that she didn't much care about click fraud because Google was driving customers to her clients' sites. I chimed up to say that her clients pay for that media activity on a per-click basis. In an industry where a good media planner would go after a magazine that falls short of its rate base, how could an agency professional in good conscience fail to acknowledge a click fraud problem? It didn't make sense to me.

I got to catch up with some buds at this dinner, including Allen Baum (formerly of Lycos, now with Choice), Nick Pahade from Denuo, Sean Finnegan from OMD and Babs Rangaiah of Unilever. It was a very stimulating discussion concerning Google and a lot of the aforementioned folks got to ask questions of David. Personally, I chimed in to see if David knew anything about the dark fiber Google was buying up and asked whether he thought the rumors were true about Google holding onto this in case the "tiered Internet" scenario came to pass. David said he thought it was aimed more at reducing costs than anything else.

At the end of the night, David was kind enough to sign a copy of his book for me - one that I plan on reading soon (when I get unburied from all the tech manuals I'm currently reading).