Google, Bing, Yahoo, who else? Yandex?

There’s never any shortage of people ready to point finger and scream “Foul!” when one of the big players in the Internet world do…. well, basically anything.

Updated your algorithm again, Google? You’re out to get us!

Changed your Privacy Policy, Facebook? It’s a conspiracy!

What? Twitter won’t share their data-hose? They must have an ulterior motive!

Just take a look at all the doomsayers that cropped up when a few major money/power brokers from around the world decided to get together behind closed doors. Conspiracy theories erupted on all fronts… the Bilderberg Group was pushing the New World Order, and pulling the strings of puppets politicians around the world.

Some say it’s just human nature to look for the worst in everything. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I remember a time when most folks expected the best from their politicians (hard to believe these days, but it’s true). These days, if a politico does “the right thing”, it’s front page news! So I think it’s not so much human nature, as an unwillingness to get burned again. It’s a self-defense mechanism, born out of previous bad experiences.

So… if ONE big player can so easily arouse suspicion, even with the most innocuous behavior, what is to be expected when a number of them put their heads together? And if they do so behind closed doors, it just arouses more anxiety. For the politically conscious, the Bilderberg Group is a concern. For those of us that make our livings on the Internet, it’s Google, Bing and other e-giants.

Google Meeting with Competitors?

Hence, the concern surrounding Friday’s supposed confab in San Francisco, with heavy-hitters representing Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and others, possibly even including Yandex. Behind closed doors, discussing “possible collaborative efforts”.

“Possible collaborative efforts”? Really? Of that many Internet giants? What sort of collaborative efforts could they possibly come up with that wouldn’t have the FTC breathing down their necks even more than usual? Larry Page and Scott Thompson probably couldn’t share a table at Der Wienerschnitzel without being taped by the Feds. I find it hard to believe that all these folks would even consider such a gathering.

Scott Thompson photo?


Not a very clear shot, but supposedly, Scott Thompson here.




But, then someone shared a newscast with me. So I put it up on YouTube, so you can see it too. No 3D glasses required… tinfoil optional.


Sounds as though Yandex might have possibly been an attendee, too. I suppose Arkady’s presence in San Francisco could just be a coincidence. For that matter, the presence of Page, two senior VPs, and Google’s General Counsel might be a coincidence, too. And the same for Scott Thompson, Ted Ullyot and Mark Zuckerberg… if you believe in the tooth fairy.

However, Zuckerberg supposedly flew to China, possibly with Apple CEO, Tim Cook. It’s no secret that he wants to get Facebook’s foot inside the Great Firewall, so that might be believable, if an administrative assistant at Facebook’s headquarters hadn’t let slip that he was in San Francisco for the weekend.

NYT image


Was this shot really taken in the St. Regis shortly after the talks fell apart? He certainly doesn’t look happy

Hmmmmmm… if so, it sounds like somebody’s telling some porkies, doesn’t it?





Anybody care to float any theories about what you think might have been on the agenda? Considering the companies involved, I’d be inclined to think it involves discussion of data-sharing. But adding to the mix the individuals involved, makes it sound like some very high-level discussions, indeed.

Edit: I pulled out the link to this story ( story, as it’s now showing a 404 error. Hard to imagine the NYT pulling a story at the request of others.

Or is it? I suppose it depends on who the “others” are. 😉


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