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What the Google Intranet Looks Like  (View post)

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
10 years ago17,549 views

Wow, very interesting article. Congratulations, guys. I've added it to digg – digg.com/tech_news/What_the_Go ...

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Brilliantly done!

Delta Pi [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

there is, of course, the google apps account to host google.com domain dog food...

try:

   google.com/a/google.com

and

google.com/a/google.com/ServiceLogin?service=mail

Jean-Marie Le Ray [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Great job! Thanks for sharing.

Jean-Marie

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Well done guys

Keith Chan [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Nice article!

Bill Mac [PersonRank 9]

10 years ago #

That's awesome.

I used to think I'd like working for Google<(~5,000 employees), but now I just want to see their tools, regardless of company size. (Not sure if I'd like to actually work for them anymore, though.) "Single-User-Sign-on" used to be my mantra.

Bradley [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Where did you get these screen shots?

cbgreenwood [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

If you want to see the Google London headquarter from the inside, just check the thousands of pics (and some videos) shot at Barcamp London3 on the various media platforms, look out for tags barcamplondon3, bcl3, barcamplondon ... great offices, 700 people working on 4 floors, whiteboards for creative output at any time, relaxing and gaming areas, gym, fresh food ... was a blast for barcampers!

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

The Screens are looking very interesting

JohnMu [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Good work, as always, guys.

If you want to see more than just screenshots and you think you have what it takes, check out google.com/intl/en/jobs/ :-)

There are also some cool office videos at youtube.com/profile_videos?use ...

Oaks [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Does anyone find it ironic that all their internal screens and tools (the information that they use to organize themselves internally) are much more complicated and data rich than the simplified results of a Google search (the world's information that Google has organized)?

Given that the world's information is magnitudes more complex than the information of any one company, you would think that Google's externally-facing tools (search) would be at least as, if not moreso, rich than their internal tools.

Yet the internal tools seem to dominate.

Freiddie [PersonRank 7]

10 years ago #

Intriguing article.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Hmn...
Seems as iGoogle, Google Apps and the Google Search Appliance likely started life as parts of MOMA that were robust and stable enough to become real products. I feel silly for not having seen it.

Is there any mention of Google making products from more parts of MOMA for Google Apps or the Search Appliance? For example, I'd love to have their internal version of universal search. It reminds me a little of Ask 3D (but not quite as well designed).

Nina Hartley [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

can they surf for porn?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Andy Baio of Waxy.org points to what he says are "recent intranet screenshots for Yahoo! and Microsoft":

flickr.com/photos/pwacher/5022 ...
flickr.com/photos/smileycat/27 ...

PS [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

I think Trax relates to Google Adwords. As a customer I had the chance to visit their offices and take a look around – every screen on the Adwords floor was running Trax, although I couldn't see much more.

Whilst they all use Google Docs and Gmail, the presentation they had created for my visit was Powerpoint :)

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here]Nina:
Not only can, but some have to. For example, AdWords and AdSense employees frequently review porn advertisers/publishers websites, as they have to decide whether an ad conforms to Google policies.

Judd Pickett [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

I wonder how many Google employees have overdosed on Google cool aid.

Alex [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

I am a googler and its disgusting to see this. This is privileged company information and its sick that a website is willing to post confidential information like this and more sick is the person who leaked this. This is what Google gets for all the trust it places in its employees. Truly pathetic!

Stephen [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Alex,

We are investigating this leak. You can be assured the employees responsible for this will be dealt with appropriately.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

(Bradley, the article contained all the info we wanted to post in it...)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I wonder if the two (...) above are (...). I think the first one is.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

(The second one's IP would add to your doubts, Ionut. But IPs aren't proof for either assumption of course.)

Harish Mallipeddi [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Btw Mondrian isn't really so much of a secret. Guido gave a Google TechTalk about Mondrian sometime back and you can watch it at Google Videos (video.google.com/videoplay?doc ...)

[Link fixed – Tony]

Tim Harvey [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

What a lame example of "paparazzi journalism" but I suppose it was to be expected. You may think that by finding someone willing to violate the trust and openness that Googlers enjoy that you've captured some of the magic of what goes on at Google, but you've only titillated yourself and are no where close. If you think the write-up was "interesting" and "informative," then you would really enjoy images of my drawers, complete with skidmarks and IP verfication.

soup [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #


I wonder if googlers ever used Beta version of Momo.

Anonymous Googler [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

IP addresses aren't useful, since anyone near a major Google office can hop on the "GoogleGuest" wireless network and appear to be coming from a Google network. Googlers can also read blogs from home or a coffee shop.

Winston [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

The Real inside of Google . thanks for sharing .

Joel Marcey [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

This was an interesting read for me. Not the content so much, but the meta question about the appropriateness of the blog. I did not even think so much of it until I read some of these comments. I think the post can be argued borderline inappropriate, but free speech applies here as well. Hey, these bloggers got the information and decided to apply it. That is what journalism is.

Now, "gaygler" ---- that seems to me a little more inappropriate ;-)

Zim [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Very interesting article/investigation guys :)

Anonymous Googler [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here]Joel: Hey, don't be dissin' the Gayglers. Google is about as diverse as it gets, by any measure. And they had George Takei on their Pride parade float this year.

As for journalism...

Journalism? Responsible journalism is about the public good. So, a question: how does splashing some fuzzy screen shots of some of our internal applications support the public good? Blogoscoped is very popular within Google, but we get very disappointed when these things happen. Not as much at Philipp for deciding to publish the info, but at whoever at Google decided that winning some points on a blog is more important than the trust we put in them when they were hired, and that they actively agreed to uphold. We rely on people to keep their word.

Philipp, I respect your sense of ethics and your willingness to call us on things you think we're doing wrong. That's one of the very reasons you are read by a lot of Googlers. Sometimes you have to break agreements because of a higher responsibility (blowing the whistle on fraud, for example). But this isn't blowing the whistle on fraud or waste. This is someone sacrificing their integrity for day or two of attention, plain and simple.

The big secret is that we use internal versions of our own products? And that we have some others that we haven't made public? That was worth risking getting fired? Strange priorities.

nmw [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Interesting to see how direct navigation is implemented.

Makes you wonder when the rest of society will learn how to use direct navigation the way Googlers do.

;) nmw

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

<< Responsible journalism is about the public good. So, a question: how does splashing some fuzzy screen shots of some of our internal applications support the public good? >>

Here's how I see it:

For many, Google is like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory; to just get a glimpse inside is interesting and intriguing. The public have always been interested in things they shouldn't really know about. That's why I believe this post supports the public good, to satisfy all those people who want to get a glimpse at the chocolate river! :-)

[Comment edited – Tony]

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Anonymous Googler, I definitely understand where you're coming from, and we don't post stuff like this quickly without consideration. And I would even agree with all of your points if we'd have posted on things that would compromise the security of Google (for that we emailed security[put at-character here]google.com on many occasions and give time to fix), or that would violate the privacy of any single private Google employee going about their work. But we tried to take care to do neither, shifting around the article draft and handling depletions and graying out of parts (or working with blurred and grayed out parts to begin with) until we were satisfied it's fair and correct to go live. We also worked with a lot of already public sources & photos (one Moma screenshot is from an official Google Blog, for instance), as is disclosed in the article.

What is left, in our opinion – and we DO read through all feedback, like yours, to help shape that opinion for future decisions – is a "bird's eye" view on what thousands of Google employees deal with every day, which we feel does educate us on how Google ticks, how they move. Which I think should be one focus of this blog. There may even be some lessons to how any company of that size may structure their work, which is educational I think. To you all this info is trivial, because you (apparently) work at Google, but for some of us this research might help understand Google better.

Joel Marcey [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

<< Hey, don't be dissin' the Gayglers. Google is about as diverse as it gets, by any measure. And they had George Takei on their Pride parade float this year. >>

[put at-character here]Anonymous Googler: I am not "dissin'" at all. On the contrary. I actually didn't know whether anyone in the gay community would take offense to be coined such a nickname or not. If everyone is cool with the nickname, then it is indeed not inappropriate.

Anyway, I think I am came to the same conclusion as you re: wrongness here. Blogoscoped was not wrong; the person who disseminated the information could indeed be depending on the circumstances and the information given. Whether this post supports the "public good", I am not 100% convinced it does, although I do agree that it is sometimes very interesting to get insight into one of the more dominant companies in the world. I created a lengthy blog post on this very subject.

Samuel Driessen [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Thanks for the post. I was wondering if this Intranet is truly global. E.g. does Google Zurich also use this Intranet? Furthermore, is this Intranet also the portal to their work documents. In other words, is Moma als their document/information management system?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

> If everyone is cool with the nickname, then it is indeed not inappropriate.

Joel, I believe it was gay Googlers who actually coined the nickname in the first place. You can read more here:

blogoscoped.com/archive/2007-0 ...

mulls [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Wow. Google, has an intranet where you can search for other Google employees and see what they're up to. Fascinating.

This just in: the sky is blue and the sun is hot.

Winston [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Well Google is like a Pearl of the Orient . Everyone in the whole world would like to see what is inside Google . I remember back few years ago , people were circulation on the e-mail "Inside Google Office" . That time everyone was interested what is in Google Office . What is so different ?

WE have "Curiosity" .
Google have organise the internet data for us easy to find .

Anonymous Googler [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp: that's why I took care to say that I was disappointed in the leaker(s) more than you. I was glad to see that you took some pains to obscure details and blank out areas that were irrelevant to your article. I think you were responsible with the information you were given, and detective work from images and documents we post publicly is fair game. Remember the PowerPoint comment slip-up from a year or two ago?

[put at-character here]Samuel: it's global. There are per-location information pages for things like "restaurants near the Z├╝rich office", but it's one big happy Intranet.

[put at-character here]Joel: Gayglers is the name that the internal social group for gay employees gave themselves--it's not an insult. They even have a logo: google.com/jobs/gayglers/ ... "-glers" does get overused a bit internally, as you might imagine (hey, it's better than "goo-" everything!).

Another Anonymous Googler [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

While I am more disappointed with the leaker, I am also disappointed in Philip because posting this information encourages the leakers. Also, while this post does have much of the more sensitive information redacted, there have been other posts on Blogoscoped that contained potentially very sensitive information.

I strongly support freedom of the press and freedom of speech, but I think that it's unethical to base a story on stolen material unless the story itself serves a greater good. For example, revealing corruption in an organization would in many cases justify the use of leaked information. On the other hand, revealing upcoming business plans or internal tools, thereby potentially hurting that company's competitive advantages, is not justified if the only purpose is to satisfy some people's curiosity (and get attention for the blogger/journalist). That's paparazzi journalism.

Winston [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here]Another Anonymous Googler : Philip have written the article and blank out areas that is suppose not to show to public . He did not copy and paste direct those material. Be Fair to Philip .

Simple example : Google Street View pictures . Did Google get permission from those people who are in the picture posted on Google Maps ? Should those people be blank out on those pictures ?

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I've been thinking about it and I'm afraid I still find the tone of the various anonymous Googlers above (or non-Googlers or whatever they are) depressing. The implication is that the "leaks" – if they're really as sensitive as that – are potentially damaging to Google's business.

That in itself is crazy. So Google has an internal staff directory and a good internal search engine? We'd expect nothing less. But we're supposed to think: shock! Competitive advantage severely compromised.

There's also an assumption in the Googlers' comments ("that was worth risking getting fired?") that anyone who lets out any kind of non-sanctioned news is prima facie irresponsible. There's an unpleasant air of veiled threats, as though facilitating the dissemination of heavily redacted screenshots – cool screenshots that are interesting to the community and hardly harmful to Google's image – is automatically a sackable offense. If someone lost their job over this: well that's something that would be in the public interest to know.

As Philipp and Tony say, there are 16,000 Googlers. There will be many more. Not everything can be a secret. Google presents a friendly face to the people who use it and love it, through its blogs, through its relaxed approach. The approach never seems fake. But if there's evidence of corporate stonewalling or a blanket ban on talking about anything that hasn't been officially approved then I fear that that image won't last.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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