Say this for the Google guys — they may still be prone to the occasional tone-deaf pronouncement, but they’re getting much better at PR. Or at least, Web damage control.
On Monday night the company launched its well-received Google App Engine. But by mid-morning Tuesday, the App Engine buzz was starting to change — rather than debating the features and implications of the product, the blogosphere wanted to know why Google had used the engine to create “Huddle Chat”, a knockoff of 37signals’ Campfire.
Tempest in a teapot? Sure. But that’s the Web. And more than most everything else Google does, this was a product launched aimed at the Web’s most hardcore users.
The old Google might have stubbornly refused to accept the criticism, and dug in its heels. And that’s what the company’s PR staff did initially, offering up this non-apology to Portfolio Tuesday afternoon:
“Like the other sample apps in the Google App Engine gallery, Huddle Chat was written by several Googlers as a side project to demonstrate the usefulness of Google App Engine,” a company spokesman said.
But by Tuesday night, somebody at Google had come to their senses, and Huddle Chat was gone. Here’s Google project manager commenting on ReadWriteWeb:
“The App Engine team was looking for some sample apps to help kick the tires on their new system, so we invited Googlers to build some as side projects. A couple of our colleagues here built HuddleChat in their spare time because they wanted to share work within their team more easily and thought persistent web chat would do the trick. We’ve heard some complaints from the developer community, though, so rather than divert attention from Google App Engine itself, we thought it better to just take HuddleChat down.”
Google: Use Our Platform To Rip Off Your Rivals
Google’s App Engine: Aiming At Facebook, Not Amazon
Google App Engine: “More Impressive Than Android”
Google, Amazon Lead Disruptive Cloud Computing Wave, Microsoft Again Behind Curve
Google Taking On Amazon With App Engine
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.