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Google Telling 400 People A Secret

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-09-26

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Google is joining the ranks of the Knights Templar, the Masons, the Illuminati, and Skull and Bones, effectively setting up secret invitation-only meetings with 400 elite attendees, including major media figures, who are all sworn to secrecy about next month's Google Zeitgeist 05. Passwords will be used in lieu of secret handshakes.

Just try to follow this link to Google's October 25-27 conference with a guest list that includes representatives from the New York Times, the New Yorker, well-known tech-bloggers, and major corporation executives (and perhaps the extra-terrestrials that run this whole show), and you'll find a sore reminder that you're not in the loop. No password, no love, get out before the goons arrive.

Danny Sullivan broke the news in the blogosphere via an Internet forum and a reader tipping him off to a mention in The Atlantic's bloggish transAtlantic site. The Zeitgeist event will be emceed by the magazine's James Fallows-an apparent favorite of G-man CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife.

But all 400 bloggers, reporters, and guests are invited on one condition: they have to promise to zip their lips (er, mitten their fingers).

Which basically means, this article and others you read on the topic can tell you nothing other than there's a secret meeting planned for October and nobody's allowed to talk about it. But oh, they (and we) certainly will until we're blue in the fingernails.

CNet, which is least likely to make the invite list after being blacklisted from Google back in July, spoke to Sullivan, who remains skeptical about Google's attempt to keep this thing quiet.

"I found it amusing to think that they are going to have people from The New York Times and other media outlets and suggest they can't talk about what 400 people are going to hear, much less having Scoble, who blogs about anything, not able to talk about it," Sullivan said in an interview Monday. "It's not a small, private event. Major executives from companies are speaking at it."

Even M.C. Fallows is unconvinced, as told in Sullivan's blog:

"Fallows admits that with guests representing ‘a zillion blogs' and some of the biggest U.S. newspapers, it's unlikely that anything will remain a big secret. He doubts there will be articles with Mountain View datelines, but with so much attention focused on Google these days, he anticipates ‘a fair amount of blogorrhea' on this subject."

But one might imagine it could be similar to a recent Google meeting in New York with 300 analysts and investors who seem to remember nothing, if anything, leading one to believe that Brin, Page, and Schmidt have indeed mastered the Jedi Mind Trick.

But secrecy is a big part of the way Google operates. We still have yet to have a clear answer about Data Docket Inc., and their relationship with Google.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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