I didn't expect that.
|Lock image by Eyeball3000|
When I tried to badge into my workplace, into my Google building at 4:30AM last Friday morning, the badge just didn't work. No click, no dice. It was dark, cold, and very, very quiet.
Earlier I'd tried to login to Google corporate gmail, but all I was seeing was some very suspicious pages saying "access denied" and that I should login at a site I didn't recognize with a password I didn't know. Very, very odd.
So I'd gone into the office to file an incident report using the trusted office network. When my badge didn't make the door pop open, that's when it hit me: I realized that what looked like a phishing attempt was actually my company telling me that I didn't work there any more.
Well... that's a surprise. I didn't expect to be locked out without some notification.
As you've probably heard by now, Google had a massive layoff on Friday, Jan 20, 2023, and I was part of that reduction in force action.
I really don't have any explanation about why I was laid off. Somehow, I was determined to be on the CUT side of the team management equation. So be it. It's just odd because I would have sworn that I was doing core research work on the intersection of search and the new Large Language Models like ChatGPT. It's really interesting technology that will heavily influence the way search works.
So the real question for us, our little SearchResearch community is this: What now?
As I've mentioned before, this isn't a Google corporate blog--it's our blog. I write about search engines, about curiosity, and research. I also write a lot about Google, but also about other systems and methods of doing search. I'm not beholden to anybody here. So we're free to continue if it makes sense.
So.... I'm trying to figure out what I'd like to do next. What makes sense for me, and what makes sense for SRS.
As you know, I'm working on another book (running title: "Unanticipated Consequences"). If you remember back to the very first SRS blog post, I pointed out that creating book content was always the goal of SRS--to pull together enough interesting material to write something meaningful. And we did that with The Joy of Search. (Coming out in paperback soon!!)
The question for me is this: Do I keep spending the roughly 8 hours/week on SRS, or do I switch to UC (Unanticipated Consequences)?
Short answer: For the moment, I'll keep on writing here on SRS. I have a long list of potential Challenges ahead. I'll do at least 4 or 5 more of the really fun ones, and then we'll figure out what's next.
So, count on SRS posts for at least the next little bit. I'll poke my authorial head back up out of the murky SearchResearch depths in a few weeks and chat about what the plan is going forward.
In the meantime, keep posting all of your great comments and ideas to the blog. I read absolutely everything y'all write, although I only have time to reply-to a few. I love the activity, the questing minds, and the conversation. Let's keep that going!