"Life @ Google From The Inside" is the subtitle of new blog ninetyninezeros by Mark Jen, who says in the site he's a former Microsoft employee now working for Google. But the blog may already have died, after Google Blogoscope reported on a post with a couple of critical comments aimed at Jen's new employer:
Microsoft's health care benefits shame Google's relatively meager offering....
Google demands employees that are 90th percentile material, so what's with the 50th percentile compensation? The packages would've been decent when the company was pre-IPO, but let's be honest here... a stock option with a strike price of $188 just doesn't have the same value as the ones of yesteryear."
The posts are now gone, apparently pulled shortly after Google Blogoscope spotted the blog. Jen's past blog during his Microsoft time is here.
John Battelle notes that that the Google cached copy of the site is gone -- taken out manually by Google, he wonders? I agree, it's odd. It has been up long enough that you'd expect it to have been indexed. Instead, not a page at all from the site is showing as present.
Google does have an automated fast page removal service that authors can use. That could explain how the previous posts were taken out -- but it doesn't explain why the home page itself isn't being cached. Of course, neither MSN or Ask Jeeves show the blog -- but neither of them are as robust as Google in crawling, either.
Never fear, John spotted that Yahoo's not only indexed the page but makes it still available in cached form. Picking up some other comments from that:
i had a bunch of liquid capital in my checking account last time i checked, and now all of a sudden i have nothing....i realized the root problem was that google's relocation process requires the employee to pay all the expenses up front and then get reimbursed for them later....on the plus side, this first paycheck is going to be huge
the "benefits" package at google. as i thought about it, i realized that most of the "benefits" actually seem to be thinly veiled timesavers to keep you at work...if you think about the fact that the employee now probably only takes a half hour lunch break and also stays late working, the company actually realizes far more than an $8 gain in employee output. not to mention that most people think this is a great "benefit" and google gets a ton of positive press on it. in short, this "benefit" is designed benefit the company, not the employee.
despite these rants, i still chose to come to google. the work environment, projects and risk/reward equation were all more enticing than up in redmond. but just like when you look for apartments in SF, no option is ever perfect.
And an earlier post shares information that came out of a large Google sales conference that happened last week:
i understand that they obviously will put a positive spin on everything, but the weight of the raw numbers is undeniable. both google's profits and revenue are growing at an unprecedented rate even while they are increasing their expenditures on capital and human resources
the products team gave presentations reviewing product performance in 2004 and giving sneak peeks of the products we'll unveil in 2005. if you guys thought gmail and google groups were cool, you ain't seen nothing yet!
So what happened to the blog? I'll see if I can get an answer. It wouldn't surprise me if Jen's new employers expressed dissatisfaction with him venting through the blog. As for the missing pages, I suspect Jen probably asked Google for special help in getting them out of the index fast -- which they no doubt would have been happy to do.
Postscript: Bloglines reproduces all the posts that were on the original site here. Apparently, the blog sent out the full-text of posts in its feed, causing this to happen.