Google Maps has no real public persona that equates to Matt Cutts on the organic side of the Google house. Cutts has taken on the role of guide, teacher, disciplinarian, webmaster liason, diplomat, conveyor of the company line and industry spokesperson for Google. You may not always agree with him but he has earned our respect.
There is no one from the Google Maps team with the same standing in the Local community. Carter Maslan occasionally has the public interview & Jen Chin (aka Maps Guide Jen) attends conferences and is the occasional poster on local blogs and now in the Google Helps Group, Maps Guide Jade posts to the Google Maps Help Forum Announcements.
Maps Guide Jade, a relatively new addition to the team, makes regular public proclamations….they tend to the cheery, energetic, over the top and occasionally polyannish statements of an enthusiastic 22 year old (I am guessing here…my age bias is showing 🙂 ).
She tends to hyperbole and some of the statements she makes are questionable (i.e. “Google Maps is the #1 mapping destination site globally”). Others seem to me just wrong. Here is one that I noticed where she recommended that businesses make a community edit of their business rather than claim it in the LBC when making a move:
Just moved location for your business? Or the information Yellow Page provided online isn’t quite up-to-date? No worry! The function of the user edits of business data in real time would solve your problem in no time.
I am glad that Google has decided to give Maps Guide Jen some help in the forums, every helping hand makes the job of getting an answer to pressing questions easier….but I think it is time to give Google Maps a consistent, technically oriented, mature, and measured public face with whom to communicate. My vote is for Jen but if not her then someone else that is given the ability to speak freely, publicly & in a timely fashion on Google’s behalf.Google Maps Needs a Public Face by Mike Blumenthal