Google's garden lunch press party...
I've been thinking about Google since the Press day. And thinking how much I still like the company, and that more and more of my friends are now working at Google. Not to mention the fact that I've seen Google, just like Yahoo, grow up from a two-room operation into a mega-media company.
And I've known these people, such as Eric Schmidt, many years--before Google was even a twinkle in Larry and Sergey's eyes.
And the Google Press Day was a familiar thing, familiar faces on the media side, and on the Google side.
When we broke for lunch, we sat outside in the gorgeous Norther California sunshine, around umbrella sheltered tables, enjoying being amongst each other, acting in the same way the other groups of people do when they know each other, and like each other. And that's how a lot of the media and the Silicon Valley companies interact.
A free lunch in pleasant surrounding doesn't mean that media coverage of Google or any Silicon Valley company will suffer. I takes more than that to buy off the media than a very fine cafeteria lunch in the sun, and everybody knows it. Such gatherings and interactions are essential for both groups get to know each other, and develop professional relationships so that fewer misunderstandings and mistakes occur.
To outsiders, to the readers of the media that were represented at the Google Press Day, it might seem like a cosy situation, maybe a tad too cosy.
However, I can assure you that journalism has a long tradition of biting the hand that feeds it, even pausing to put some steak sauce on it, and resuming the meal with gusto.
That's why you will see some great stories some good, some not, about GOOG coming out of the press corp. I've got one or two sizzling hot pieces in the works myself and you'll see the first one in a day or so.