First let me promote my YouTube channels. Be sure to his subscribe on each one!!!
So what was the Global Top Contributor summit? Well according to their public website it was an "opportunity for Google TCs from around the world to meet each other. It’s a chance to discover what’s happening behind the scenes, learn more about Google products, share experiences and feedback, and have a good time!" Now even though the website was public, the event was not. It was by invite only and everyone was under Non-Disclosure Agreements. Therefore I can not talk about what was discussed. However I would like to show the pictures and photos taken by the over 250 people who were at this event. Google supports help forums in 44 languages and there are help forums for every Google product.
While I can not discuss the meetings, I can discuss the schedule as that was knowledge made available on their public website schedule.
Note none of the pictures or videos were taken by me. I was not allowed to film or photograph anything of the hotel, bus, google, google employees, or other Top Contributors. The photos and videos are merely embedded here from other sources.
The first thing we had was sort of a pre-party and early registration in the California Ballroom of the Marriot. Specifically this was in the hallway of the California Ballroom.
Here is what it looked like filled with people
At the end of the hallway was the registration desk. Each person was needed to identify themselves and ensure that they were on the list. They also came with a Goodie Bag.
One lady posted a high quality picture of some of her goodies. Her's also came with some earbuds. Remember to view the photos at their source all you have to do is click on them. This is simply embedding.
There was at least 50 maybe even a 100 Google employees who were in bright red shirts so if you were lost or needed help with the event they were there to assist you. These people were also multi-lingual as they also served as translators for the conference via headset.
They also had a world map where we could post a red balloon of where we are from.
They also in the very back of the hallway had Google Chromebooks set up and free wifi. The Chromebooks are awesome. They start up in less than 10 seconds and are a scaled down version of a laptop designed for public wifi. They don't even have the ability to install so it is impossible to download something by accident that would hurt your computer.
After the event people had the option to hang out in one of the bars or restaurants at Marriott.
Here is Marriott's Cafe 104
This here is Character's Sports Bar and Grill
They also have a Starbucks in their lobby
After the social event that night I hung out in the Lobby to use their free wifi. Here is some pictures of their lobby.
In these two pictures look for the table with the brown chairs. In the middle of that table was a 110 outlet port to plug in your labtop with.
Now they did have internet in your hotel rooms, however that was $12 per day. For my international audience $12 is about what you might pay for a movie, drink, and popcorn at the cinema. I was given a King size bed, because I requested one. This is what my room looked like, I also requested the leather chair be replaced with a cloth one. However my room looked exactly like this.
So the next morning at 0730 we met again in the California Ballroom and made sure everyone was registered. This is the California Ballroom when it is empty.
As you can see it has spaces to add portable walls so you can custom design your meeting space for one big room or smaller rooms. Google had one big room for the dining area, and the other for the conference.
At 0800 we had breakfast. Google provided labels at each table so you could find people who spoke your language. We had people from all over the world.
Credit to Andrea Moro his pictures on twitter kept crashing so I actually did have to copy and put it here. However his original source is here
At 0900 we headed in to the conference room and took our seats.
Credit to Andrea Moro his pictures on twitter kept crashing so I actually did have to copy and put it here. However his original source is here
As you can see here the room is getting full pretty quick. Down below you can see us filled to capacity. In this picture you can see the red-shirts assisting the Top Contributors. Even though they had translation coming in through head phones they were also in with them in the audience. Although I did not see any, it is possible that some may have had physical disabilities that required assistance such as sign language or other special needs.
In the back you can see the video equipment. The video was broadcasted on two large viewing screens so even the people in the very back could get a view of what was being shown. Furthermore they also used these screens for multimedia.
The beginning of the meeting started with this multimedia display.
Now even though the list of names of the speakers was publically available I will not be identifying the people in these pictures at least in this blog. This is for two reasons. One, not everyone on the schedule actually showed up and spoke so there was some replacements. Second, someone may interpret this blog as a violation of the Non-Disclosure if I were to match names with faces. Of course the owners of the photos named the people but that is on them. But here they are as they appeared on stage
After a break it was time for a discussion of the Google Product Forums and the improvements being made.
We then broke for lunch
First we had salads and then our meals based on our dietary restrictions. My vegan lunch was not very tasty so I filled up on bread.
I could not find any more pictures of lunch, just the salads.
Next up we had some more speakers
Then we took another break. I wanted to test out one of those Chromebooks and I loved it. It does not replace a computer, nor was it meant to. It's perfect application is a fast portable computer where you need to hook up to public WiFi hotspots.
When we returned it was time for the Google Product demonstrations
This one I was able to find two pictures with
Here you can see a demonstration of YouTubeLive
Then it was another break and then it was on to the Google panel. Here they took questions submitted to the internet then from those of us in the audience. Someone even managed to take a picture of me, first in line to ask a question. Due to Non-Disclosure Agreements I can not tell you what I asked or what the answer was, yet here I am speaking up.
Here is a photo of the full pannel
5 random people in the audience was also given free Chromebooks. I was not one of them but good job to the 5 who did.
Then another break and we had our last speaker.
During this time some awards was given out. Awards such as most Top Contributor in most forums, Top Contributor in most languages, Top Contributor most active, ect.
Then the event ended and many of us went to the Sedona Room for drinks and social.
The people from Google hung around and I was able to talk to many of them including one of the Vice Presidents of Google in charge of Global Advertising. Click bombing was the subject I brought up. Obviously I can not disclose what was discussed however I did the best I could to bring this issue to their attention. I also talked to a few employees of the Adsense team as well.
Fun fact, many of the Google people and the Top Contributors do not use YouTube. I did get the impression that some of the Google people did not like YouTube but they did like me. I went to bed later and next morning it was bright and early to hop on the bus to go to Google.
Even though Google owns it's own fleet of buses (which I will show later) transportation from the airport to the hotel and then the hotel to Google was provided by Mercury Tours. The reason, I can assume is because the Google buses all have routes they must take as they carry employees from different campuses and to ParkNRides
We were transported to the Google Critenden Campus
Here is some pictures of the campus I found on the internet, all embedded here. Click on them for the original source.
Here are a few pictures from the internet in case anyone wanted to go inside. Again click on the photos to view the source. These are embeds only. I was prohibited from photographing.
They even have some cool stuff like this Incredible Hulk Statue
They also have plenty of classic arcade games to play on.
Google also provides bicycles for their employees to travel around campus with. These bikes remain unlocked, you just grab and go, when you are done you just leave it. Someone else eventually will come along and take the bike somewhere else
One person even filmed himself riding a Google Bike.
Here is another I found
Anyway first things first, Breakfast.
There is also a video slide show of much of our Breakfast followed by some pictures taken at YouTube
After breakfast we divided into groups based on what Google product we specialized in. Some groups posed for pictures. I will not say which groups are which here in this blog, but of course each photo is embedded from the original post
Once inside we each went to conference rooms to discuss issues relating to our Google Product. Again some groups took pictures. How they pulled this stunt off I will never know but here they are.
Well after the morning meeting, we broke for lunch
Here is some photos of the Google Crittenden cafes where they make the food, all free for their employees and guests.
Then in the afternoon we were divided into random groups to be given product demos on Google Products that are not our specialty. I was given a demo on Google Maps, but that is all I can say.
Then it was time to go on tour to the Googleplex. We got to take the Google Bus. I found someone who was able to film the Google bus.
Here is what they look like on the inside
Anyway here is some video of the Googleplex
That one is a bit out of date as the video is two years old and says only 19 cafes. Our tour guide says we now have 33.
Here is another video about working at Google and the Googleplex
FYI if anyone wants to know what Google's first office looked like, here is the house. Now owned by Google
When you walk into the lobby you see their front desk with Google Lava Lamps and a screen showing real time, but censored search results. Censored for naughty things on the internets no doubt
Outside in the lawn is a bronze statue cast from a T-Rex skeleton. A real skeleton would not survive the elements outside.
Here is us in front of their organic garden
At the Googleplex their first cafe was Charlie's Place named after Google's first executive chef, Charlie Ayers
Here is the outside dining area for Charlie's Place
Other interesting Cafe's include Cafe 150 which specializes in locally grown food and only gets it's food from within 150 miles of the Googleplex
Here is some photos's of No Name Cafe
Basically whatever dietary needs you have or if you just want to try something new the Chefs at Google offer top of the line food for free.
Inside the lobby of the Googleplex is some pretty interesting things. According to our tour guide (This guy)
The phone booth was bought off Ebay and paid for with the Google company credit card. The management came down pretty hard on him and since then a tighter control has been made on what the corporate credit card can be used for. It has since been painted and modified to work with Google Voice.
For example, Google limited it's corporate spending by not buying Gold Plated whatever this thing is called
It is actually a nap chamber to re-energize workers after they get too stressed.
Another cool thing in the lobby is their giant dry erase boards. People come here and write down ideas. Although this is the big one, dry erase boards like this are all over Google. YouTube has them too in case you were curious
They also have large busts of famous explorers. Our tour guide explained that Google is built around search so they honor those who searched before them.
This is Sylvia A. Earle an oceanographer who not only was Time Magazine's Hero For The Planet in 1988 but also has worked with Google in adding oceans to Google Earth.
Anyway, we then got back on the Google bus and headed over to the Google Android building.
Here is a video of the outside
Here is Honeycomb coming off the truck. The statues are made by a local company that makes custom built miniature golf sets
According to our tour guide whenever Android releases a new version, it is named after a desert of some kind. A statue is then made to celebrate it. Naming your products after food and you are engineers??? I suspect fatness!!!
Anyway a person who wishes to remain anonamous was kind enough to take this photo.
Anyway we then went back to the Crittenden campus where there was free food this time off of some catering trucks.
Later that night we went back to the hotel. It was our last night
In the morning almost everyone was flying out, but not us YouTubers. We were invited to the YouTube office in San Bruno
The first place we went to was the YouTube Cafe for breakfast. Like Google, the food was first class and free.
Then we went on a tour of the building and met lots of the different teams. We also got to see their awesome slide. I was not allowed to film inside but this lady has a great video of the slide
Then it was time for lunch and we ate out on the patio
In the rear up on top you can see one of their conference rooms. I never got to see it but I did find this picture for you guys
After lunch we had some product demos in what is called the war room
Then it was time for fellow YouTuber FatTonyBBX to perform in front of the YouTube audience in the main lobby. He was also nice enough to invite me on stage, you can see this at 9 minutes and 23 seconds in.
Here is what the lobby looks like without the crowd.
YouTube also has a full service gym
We did not get to talk to that many people from Adsense but here is the entire Adsense team as of July 2011 in a company photo
And here is a brief look in their office
This photo below certainly predates 2009 because of how the youtube channel looks
For anyone who is interested this is what the Adwords office looked like in 2008.
Most of these were found using #TCSummit on Twitter
Other places to find pictures is on Google Plus if you know where to look.
By the way you guys should follow me on Twitter by going here
A big thanks to everyone who helped out with this project. Now all the videos and photos are in one central location.
Finally here is the playlist of my videos that I made.
The videos will play in order right there.
Update September 25th 2011: Some new videos have come out and here they are.
I am in both videos. In this one at 1:45 in the video you can see me address the Google pannel.
I appear in several parts of this video, including a shot of me doing a belly dance in front of YouTube headquarters
One final note, I don't check my comments that much, so the best way to contact me is to send a message to my youtube channel. Click HERE to send me a message.