The Google AdSense team held their first ever AdSense publisher forum on March 16, 2005 at the Googleplex. A group of publishers local to the Bay Area were invited to attend the evening event, and I was one of three speakers sharing their experiences with AdSense.
It kicked off with arrival in the lobby of the brand new Google Building 43, which only opened a few weeks ago. The lobby had the requisite Google lava lamps, and everyone got their own Google nametag to wear with their name and company emblazoned on it. And as you mingled in the lobby, you could watch the real time Google search queries as they were projectioned onto the wall.
The evening got off to a great start with a half hour of socializing, which allowed all the Googlers in their blue or green shirts to show off some of the new offerings on demo computers set up in the room, as well as answering questions and swapping business cards. They were quite a social bunch, listening to publisher concerns and answering plenty of questions about not only AdSense but the other products such as Blogger and Froogle as well. There were fabulously trendy munchies, even including sushi and artistically created appetizers, along with veggies and dip for the slightly less adventurous (like me!)
Kim Malone, Director of AdSense, kicked off the speaking portion of the event, going through the AdSense timeline and some of the major events along the way. She also enthusiastically discussed the new changes released the day before, particularly the new Ad Links, and showing how they worked. She also shared that many AdSense team members are also publishers as well, so they experience both sides of the program… and that she was turned down for excessive profanity the first time she applied. This obviously brought a lot of laughs from the crowd that even a top AdSense Team member can apply through the normal route and get turned down.
Next, she introduced Dr. Cheng Wu of Efunda.com, a website with mechanical engineers as the target market.