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March 1, 2009

'You have to try and make words less human and more a piece of the machinery' — Marissa Mayer


She was employee #20 at Google when she signed on in 1999 after graduating from Stanford with a master's degree in computer science.

She's now a 33-year-old billionaire who lives in a spectacular $5 million penthouse atop San Francisco's Four Seasons hotel.

As vice president for search products and user experience, she's the ultimate arbiter of Google's look and feel.

And awfully good at it, in my opinion.

Since joining Google she's been intimately involved in the introduction of over 100 products and features, among them Gmail, Image Search and Google News, each of which I use many times daily.

Today's New York Times Business section front page story by Laura M. Holson profiles her.

I was struck by her observation, quoted in the headline up top, in the Times piece.

Because it drills down beautifully on the difference between the real and the mechanical.

Once words start to get warm and treacly, the reader instinctively recoils, wanting to be anywhere but in the presence of that verbal boyfriend's arm pillow-equivalent (top).

March 1, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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I follow yours, Beverly's and all of the other regulars whose comments I like to read here at BOJ's. Does it seem like you are ripping off Joe's style you ask... not really. Many people post pertinent links in answer to a post they like or comments therein made. Nothing new in that. Just put up a music post. Go listen if you have a chance and tell me if they're too syrupy for you. Milena

Posted by: Treacly Miles | Mar 2, 2009 1:11:20 PM

I always wondered if anyone followed my links.... and now I know..

at least of this one...

at the risk of going forum-ish, does it seem like I'm trying to rip off Joe's style when I post like this?

Because it's just something I've done.

Posted by: Rocketboy | Mar 2, 2009 11:49:48 AM

Rocketboy! Heard the song. First time. Sounds a bit Michael Nymanish. Can't say it did much for me in the treacle department. ;-)

Posted by: Treacly Miles | Mar 1, 2009 8:51:28 PM

A sticky/syurpy Miles?


You might be intrested in this then...


(It's track 4)

No youtube this time, so it's treacle for your ears, and not your eyes.

Posted by: Rocketboy | Mar 1, 2009 7:12:09 PM

Well I suppose that's one way of looking at it. Can't say that I agree though but maybe a 5 million dollar penthouse atop SF's Four Seasons Hotel could help to change my mind. ;-)

P.S. Love the word Treacly. I'd put it in my top ten list of sticky words.

Posted by: Treacly Miles | Mar 1, 2009 2:37:49 PM

Okay, just read the whole NYT Business story.

That post headline quote makes good sense in the context of the article. Standing alone, it's absolutely terrifying.

Not relevant, I know, but thank god the world is big enough for warm & treacly AND machinelike.

Posted by: Flautist | Mar 1, 2009 2:26:15 PM

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