My report from my week in Mountain View wouldn't be complete without a big Hullo! to the folks who showed me such a great time while I was down there—so thanks to Ben (my mentor-for-a-week), Greg (for letting me lurk in his office), Brian & Katina for starting to clue me in to the landscape of search quality, Matt C for making me feel welcome, and an extra-special thanks to Matt S and Adam for, well, keeping me out of trouble. :-)
The timing of SMX couldn't have been better, in that I got to meet a bunch of Mountain Viewglers in Seattle the week before I went down to California for my training, so I had some familiar faces to look for. Between the champagne breakfast, the outdoor movie, and the evening of waltz and polka (most exhausting dance ever!), I'm definitely looking forward to the next time I have an excuse to go back.
I'm probably going to start sounding like a broken record saying this, but the coolest part of Google so far has definitely been the people I've met. Everyone has some surprising hidden talent (or two... or ten). Everyone has some endearing personality trait or quirk or interesting personal history. Those that blog always leave me wanting to read more. Like everyone else, I love hearing Matt's insights on search and technology; but I'm equally fascinated by how Adam writes so directly from the heart. Some Googlers blog so engagingly it's as if they were right there talking to you; others have gorgeous grammar and beautiful sentence structure (yes, I'm a language nerd!).
I'm still trying to figure out what kind of blogger I need to be. Obviously I'd like to contribute unique and useful content to the internet (goodness knows there's enough trash out there already!). But my best writing always tends to come out in informal media—journaling, letter-writing, etc. Perhaps I should just straw-poll you guys: would you rather read something affective or analytic? Quantitative or qualitative? "Life as a Googler" or "Life as a rollergirl-in-training"? :-)