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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Google "Adjusts" Docs & Spreadsheets Reviews

Google advertises their Google Docs & Spreadsheets product with little “customer blurbs” along with photos*. Here’s one from Lucy Gray, a teacher:

Last spring, I had my kids practice graphing data using Google Docs & Spreadsheets and earthquake data from the U.S Geological Survey.

Did you spot the error? Right – there was no “Google Docs & Spreadsheets” last spring... the tool was only released this week (being a merger of the existing products Writely and Google Spreadsheets, to which Lucy must’ve been referring).

But maybe those reviewers were using an ultra-secret version of Google D&S that’s been around for longer? Nope, not really – I contacted one of the people whose blurbs were used (and who supposedly said “Google Docs & Spreadsheets”), and he told me he was referring to Writely, actually. Way to go Google... after all, your rebranding efforts are more important than accuracy, right?

*"Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy using Google Docs & Spreadsheets” - Ken Leebow
“I’m a student entering my freshman year of college at Whitman College and use Google Docs & Spreadsheets for nearly everything.” - Andrew Spittle
“Google Docs & Spreadsheets has been a great time-saver for Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We have been using it during our weekly events to log worker hours for payroll.” - Mark Dawson
“The main way I’m using [Google Docs & Spreadsheets] is to help my mother-in-law.” - Bryna Massingale (in this blurb, Google finally indicates a change... well, unless the guy was talking about something entirely different)

[Thanks ImJasonH and DPic!]

Update: Cool – Google went ahead and changed most of the blurbs using square brackets, and they also added a disclaimer on top of one of the pages reading “Where users may have referred to Writely or Google Spreadsheets in their stories, we have substituted the new product name”.


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