Daniel Tunkelang has announced on his blog today that he is leaving his position at Google Maps for an exciting research position at LinkedIn. Daniel was hired at Google about a year ago. There he worked on authority pages and the of mapping businesses to their official home pages.
When Daniel was first hired at Google as an engineer he did something that was amazing and delightful. He reached out to me, looking to understand issues and concerns that I had with Google Maps and their approach to Local. We initially had several detailed email exchanges and a long telephone call. He was gracious, inquisitive and forthright. All things that I respect and honor. He reached across a chasm that typically exists between Google and me and was sincere in his efforts to understand my critiques. Google could learn much from his outreach efforts (although as he pointed out personal contact doesn’t scale well ).
We have stayed in touch, off and on throughout the year and I have appreciated the occasional communications and (personal) assistance that he has provided. Even though I don’t know him in a truly personal sense, I consider him a friend and wish him well at LinkedIn.