No. 1014
September 6th, 2011

Mike Blumenthal Featured in New York Times; Google Responds Immediately

I came across a very pleasant surprise on last night: this article on the ease of crowdsourcing business closures within Google Places.   “The Oracle of Olean,” Mike Blumenthal, features prominently in the second half of the article, as the Times found his experiment on closing Google’s Mountain View location particularly illustrative and amusing.

Google has already responded this morning with as much of a mea culpa as Mountain View is ever likely to offer, with Ethan Russell highlighting “news in the blogosphere” that made them aware that this was occurring.  That “news” was likely Mike’s experiment.  (It should be noted this is not the first time Google has paid attention to a Maps/Places problem after it has made national news headlines.)

While Linda Buquet of Catalyst eMarketing was also quoted by the Times, this marks a crowning achievement of sorts for Mike, who’s worked tirelessly not only to expose bugs and poor “features” within Google Maps/Places to a wider audience, but directly helping the business owners who find their way to the Maps/Places forums.  I’m super-excited (and strangely, proud-for-him, if that’s even an emotion), to see him get recognition that has been such a long time in coming.

Good on the Times for not only getting the story 100% right but interviewing two of the best in our space.  Send Mike and Linda congratulatory notes here and here.