Simon Says remains a popular game for children and it teaches them to listen.  Listen to whom, though?  I’m guessing their parents, but we all know how that turns out.  Maybe it’s getting them used to listening to whoever they work for one day and the rules that are set out before them.  One of the perks of working for Trademark Productions is that we don’t have a typical corporate atmosphere here.  We have a Development and Design Process that we follow, but it’s done in a fairly creative environment that doesn’t stifle the human soul.  Can you tell I’ve worked for my share of corporations in the past? 

One thing businesses don’t like is being told what to do and how to do it, which is exactly what happens when it comes to the online world, or, more specifically, search engines.  Search Engine Land recently posted a blog about Google’s HotPot that had us scratching our heads.

For those of you not familiar with HotPot yet, it’s a way to rate and review local businesses, restaurants, bookstores etc that will then show up in search engine results and can be shared with family and friends.  Nice idea, right?  As to be expected, there are some rules, one of which is that businesses cannot offer incentives to get reviews since they then wouldn’t be unbiased.  That makes sense.  But then Google launched a promo in Portland for folks to write reviews for businesses in order to win free dinners or debit cards.

Since it doesn’t state that the reviews have to be positive ones or that they can be a combination of positive or negative, it does open the door to folks writing reviews for the sake of writing reviews in order to win a prize.  Google’s response to Search Engine Land is that the promotion doesn’t offer a conflict of interest.  What they (Google) fail to acknowledge, though, is that it doesn’t exactly promote honesty either.  Let’s call it a gray area and since the promotion favors Google, they’re going to look the other way on whether they themselves are meeting the spirit of the rule.

Perhaps the rules and name of Simon Says should be changed to Do As I Say, Not As I Do.

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