Digg's Kevin Rose to Ask Google's Marissa Mayer About Bing, Biggest Threat and Skynet

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-07-25 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Since August 2008, Digg has sporadically run a content feature called Digg Dialogg, which is essentially an interview of "notable leaders and luminaries."

Of course, to embody the spirit of Digg, Digg Dialogg (Digg's spelling, not mine) is crowdsourced: Rather than editors or journalists, the Digg community decides the most popular questions to ask the interview subject.

Basically, Digg opens a period of a couple days when users can submit questions for the subject to Digg. The questions with the most Diggs get assembled and asked by an appointed interviewer. Digg records the session, polishes it and airs it soon after.

Digg has conducted Digg Dialoggs so far with Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his fellow Austrian Bruno (If you don't know, don't ask), among others.

Anyway, why am I telling you about these interviews here? The next Digg Dialogg victim subject is Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience (and resident fashion maven).

Digg co-founder Kevin Rose will conduct the interview in person with Mayer Monday in San Francisco. Digg will be posting the full interview Wednesday, July 29 at noon PDT, but below is a list of the top 10 questions Rose will be asking Mayer vis-a-vis Digg users. Here is the whole list of 1,007 questions.

  1. Do you ever get disturbed at what you see as most searched topics? (+441 diggs, submitted by Abbeygargoyle)
  2. With products like Google Docs, Voice, Wave as well as Chrome OS, Google seems to strongly encourage the move to the cloud. However, a lot of users do not have fast Internet access and have relatively low bandwidth caps. Do you consider Internet Service Providers as a major bottleneck in the user experience of a cloud-oriented system? If so, what do you think can be done fix or circumvent that potential problem? (+418 diggs, submitted by Nephersir7)
  3. What are you going to do with all the data you are collecting on your users? (+362 diggs, submitted by Inceptious)
  4. What happened to the 10th to the 100th promise Google made on its last birthday to put $10 million into the best ideas submitted to Google and winnowed by a vote of the public with final selections made by a panel selected by Google? The initial decision-making was to have come in December, then it was delayed due to the huge response ... and now it appears to have gone by the wayside. (This is very disappointing for all who trusted Google to honor its funding promise.) (+280 diggs, submitted by ClayT2)
  5. How do you feel about Bing? I believe the search engine has some very positive features. Does Google plan on implementing any significant changes in response to Bing's release? (+279 diggs, submitted by Rujtu)
  6. What product that Google has in beta are you most excited about at the moment? (+239 diggs, submitted by bamafun)
  7. What do you think of Wolfram|Alpha? (+223 diggs, submitted by seanieb)
  8. Who do you think is Google's biggest threat? (+191 diggs, submitted by DingoMD)
  9. Could you please take us through a day in the life of "the boss"? (+190 diggs, submitted by bzaks)
  10. Is Google Skynet? (+182 diggs, submitted by sjbdallas)

The next question is a firecracker though, and the answer will be provided diplomatically once Mayer's PR handlers get through with her.

Google has long had a contentious relationship with ISPs over the bottlenecks that bar the way toward faster Internet searches and Web services.

The question about data collection is also a nice grenade. Of course, Mayer is not going to tell us if Google is harvesting mounds of data on us or doing devious things like deep packet inspection.

She is going to tell us the company line about respecting user privacy and offering users the ability to opt out of advertising via the Google Ad Preferences site.

I have no idea how she is going to answer the financing best ideas question. Honestly, is that even her thing? That's a put-'em-on-the-spot question.

Mayer's answer about Bing will be brief. Google trounces all in share, but Google execs are still a bit tense about the Bing thing.

The question about the beta is pretty poor only because so much of what Google does is in beta! She can't talk about Google Apps, all of which is now out of beta as of this month.

I will be very surprised if she talks about any new beta product that we haven't heard of, but as a news gatherer, I would be most grateful.

As a math whiz, I expect Mayer to be totally pumped about Wolfram Alpha. Enough to push corporate development to buy it? Maybe not.

I hope she doesn't answer "the competition is just a click away" to the competitive threat question. If she were to be brutally honest, she would say, simply, DOJ, but that won't happen.

Don't care much about the day in the life. Finally, I love the Skynet question, a fun reference to Google as the company whose technological innovations spin out of control and turn on humans.

There is a great graphic illustration to be created there, I think, with a computer attacking a human after he types in a Google search.

Anyway, check back here Wednesday for more on the Rose/us-Mayer session.

 
 
 
 
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