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Google Wave

  1. Eric Schmidt Takes the Hit on Google’s Poor Social Performance

    Eric Schmidt may not be Google's CEO anymore now that Larry Page is in the saddle, but Schmidt, currently the executive chairman of the search company, clearly still views Google through a leader's eye -- and that includes the company's screwups. Speaking at the D9 conference, Schmidt opened up about Google's poor showing in social media, which has given rise to criticism as failures like Orkut, Wave, and Buzz have piled up. When asked what his greatest regret was as CEO of the company this is what he pointed to:

    Tellingly, Schmidt said the social problem Google is grappling with today is largely his fault. He said he recently looked up memos he wrote four years ago about Google needing to address online identity. “I clearly knew that I had to do something, and I failed to do it,” he said. “A CEO should take responsibility. I screwed up.”
    Though Facebook has emerged as a bitter rival to Google in winning ad dollars, top engineers, and hearts and minds, with dirty tactics not out of the question, Schmidt praised Facebook for its role in de-anonymizing the Internet: "[Facebook is] the first generally available way of disambiguating identity. Historically, on the Internet such a fundamental service wouldn’t be owned by a single company. I think the industry would benefit from an alternative to that….Identity is incredibly useful because in the online world you need to know who you are dealing with." (AllThingsD via CNET)

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  2. Report: Each and Every Google Employee’s 2011 Bonus Tied to Success of Social Products

    Since his reinstatement as Google's CEO, Larry Page has has cut a broad swath, putting engineers, not managers, back in charge and aggressively bidding for Nortel's patents in the course of just a few days as he brings his quirky but forceful management style to bear. But if this is for real, this may be his boldest move thus far, and one that will be hard to top: The Business Insider's Nich Carlson reports that according to a leaked internal memo, as much as 25% of every single Google employee's 2011 bonus will be determined by the success of Google's social products this year. Considering the spotty track records of such Google social productions as Orkut, Wave, and Buzz, that would be a lot of potential risk to bring to bear on the bonuses of engineers, executives, and support staff whose work has nothing at all to do with the likes of +1, Google's new searchwide social button. Business Insider reports:

    "This is a joint effort so it's important that we all get behind it," we're told Page writes in the confidential memo, subject-lined "2011 Bonus Multiplier." ... [Page writes] "When we release products, try them and encourage your family and friends to do the same."
    As for how it works:
    When Google gave all of its employees a 10% raise and $1,000 bonus last fall, it was part of a move to abolish bonuses that had been based on an annual company multiplier – where employee bonuses were multiplied against some figure correlated to the overall company's performance. In 2011, the returned company multiplier will be somewhere between .75 and 1.25 – depending on how well Google does in social. That means employees' bonuses could shrink by 25% if Google doesn't perform.
    So really, the 25% figure may not fully convey how much is at stake here (again, assuming the memo is legit). An employee with a base bonus of $10,000 could get $12,500 if Google hits social out of the park this year or could see their bonus shrunken to as little as $7,500 if social catastrophically flops. Though realistically, it seems unlikely that Google would actually enact so severe a morale-killer as declaring social a total failure, all told, that's a potential swing of $5,000 -- 50% of base in our example! -- for a variable over which many employees will have little control, encouraging family and friends aside. Update: Pic of the memo below: (via TBI)

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  3. The End of Google Wave

    Google is not going to develop Google Wave any further, the company announced this afternoon. Despite Google's high hopes for the service, it never really caught on among consumers, and while the company isn't totally pulling the plug on Wave -- they'll continue to maintain the site "at least through the end of the year" -- it's not going to invest further resources in it beyond "extend[ing] the technology for use in other Google projects."

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  4. Oops: Google Wave Posts Porn on Facebook

    Well, this is embarrassing: Earlier today, Google Wave's Facebook fan page -- which, despite being Google Wave's Facebook fan page, has over 40,000 fans -- posted a link to porn.

    (We've pixellated the offending picture.)

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