Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Daniel Tunkelang Leaving Google Maps to Join LinkedIn
Daniel Tunkelang has announced on his blog today that he is leaving his position at Google Maps for an exciting research position at LinkedIn. Daniel was hired at Google about a year ago. There he worked on authority pages and the of mapping businesses to their official home pages.
When Daniel was first hired at Google as an engineer he did something that was amazing and delightful. He reached out to me, looking to understand issues and concerns that I had with Google Maps and their approach to Local. We initially had several detailed email exchanges and a long telephone call. He was gracious, inquisitive and forthright. All things that I respect and honor. He reached across a chasm that typically exists between Google and me and was sincere in his efforts to understand my critiques. Google could learn much from his outreach efforts (although as he pointed out personal contact doesn’t scale well 🙂 ).
We have stayed in touch, off and on throughout the year and I have appreciated the occasional communications and (personal) assistance that he has provided. Even though I don’t know him in a truly personal sense, I consider him a friend and wish him well at LinkedIn.
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Mike, thank you for the kind words. I sometimes joked to my colleagues that my job was to fix bugs before you discovered and blogged about them.
From that first conversation we had in 2009, I’ve always appreciated your own grace, inquisitiveness, and forthrightness. The blogosphere’s treatment of Google has ranged from fanboyism to outright hostility, but I have always found you to have an informed and measured voice. I will miss having you as someone to keep me honest, but I am delighted to have you as a friend.
And I do hope I steered you well on restaurants in Pittsburgh!
You mean that I missed some big ones? Darn! I must have been asleep at the wheel…
The restaurant worked out great although the gift recipient thought it was a burrito place (which he was excited about…maybe I overshot 🙂 )
Good luck, Daniel. So, who should absorb Mike’s “hassles” now? 😉
@Mike: It appears that your hard work helped bridge many gaps between that “brick wall” that Google is famous for being. The fact that they and theirs reached out to you, just proves how powerful the blogosphere has become and that Google is finally responding to Googlers.
Clearly Mike will need to start a spin-off blog called “Understanding the LinkedIn Social Business Graph” just to keep Daniel busy 😀
Good luck, Daniel. I am sure we will be following your progress.
Good luck to Daniel. The commentary about your comments back and forth are insightful as to what goes on inside Google and their interactions with the outside world.
I suspect LinkedIn will benefit from his contributions.
Nice to hear about Daniel’s interest in reaching out to you Mike 🙂 The World (including Google’s World) is still made up of individuals, who in most cases want to make things better for everyone. Working together (as you described your relationship with Daniel in this article) is such a nice thing… I’m actually a bit surprised, but clearly I find it wonderful news. All the best to Daniel in his new venture, I hope he continues to allow others into his World at linkedIn.
Thanks for the good luck wishes. I hope that others at Google continue “reaching across the chasm” — I talked to some engineers and product managers about it when I left, and pointed them to this blog post. And I’ll certainly continue to engage the outside world in my new role at LinkedIn. Indeed, I hope to do so significantly more than I have in the past year.
[…] Olander, Greg Sterling, and Mike Blumenthal. Indeed, when I announced my departure, Mike wrote a really nice post about the friendship we cultivated over the past year. I hope that he continues to have such […]
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