Google: When Giving Us Feedback, Don’t Be a Jerk

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We’ve written several times about how Google uses Google+ to communicate with users and gather feedback. Last week, for example, Google put up a post asking webmasters how it can make it easier for them to make “awesome websites, which are easily findable in web-search?”

Googlers are all over Google+ all the time, hosting hangouts, taking feedback, giving feedback and having conversations with everyday users. We’ve seen examples where these conversations have had direct impacts on Google products. Earlier this year, for example, Google talked with users about possible Google+ integrations in Gmail, and some of these ideas went into the recently launched offering.

Vincent Mo, Tech Lead Manager on Google+ Photos, wrote a Google+ post, giving some tips on how to give Google+ feedback:

1.) DO use the "Send feedback" button
- do it even if you think others have said the same thing - numbers matter
- "send feedback" isn't just for bug reports - it's for feature requests too
- send feedback even if the screen shot is wrong - just describe the problem
2.) DO start discussions with other Google+ users
- sometimes people can help each other out of a jam
- sometimes others have ideas on how to make your idea even better!
3.) DO +mention people like me and +Brian Rose
- preferably after some discussion with other Google+ users 😉
- even though "Send feedback" is our main source of info, we like to see organic discussions on what you like or don't like

1.) DON'T be a jerk
- believe it or not, there's a polite way to say that you don't like something
- polite people get polite responses; mean people get... ignored or blocked? 🙂
You know what? #1 is a big enough one that I'm going to leave it at that.

Writing about Google as often as we do, we see a lot of hateful comments about the company, and even specific employees in some cases, so we can definitely see where that would be the main “don’t”. I can’t imagine how much of this type of thing Googlers must endure themselves, with all of this public interaction.

Note: Since this article was initially posted, we had an exchange with Mo. "The main 'jerk' thing that I'm concerned about is saying things in a mean way," he says. "For example, someone might say, 'Hey Google, you guys recently made a change to YYY, but I liked it better the old way because ZZZ.' Or, they could say, 'Google, is it that hard not to screw up things?'. The first comment is much more likely to have a Googler follow up."

"I try not to call out mean comments because the person probably didn't actually expect someone from Google to see it," he adds. "I just respond to the respectful ones and try to encourage respectful dialog."

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.