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Google UK CEO speaks at MediaCityUK

Google UK CEO speaks at MediaCityUK

Earlier today, I attended a presentation by Matt Brittin who is the Managing Director of Google in the UK & Ireland. Matt is one of the first digital industry leaders to address colleagues and students at MediaCityUK. 

Before Matt joined Google in 2007, he spent much of his career in media and marketing, with particular interests in strategy, commercial development and sales performance. Amongst other accolades, Matt was voted as The Wired number one most influential people to shape the wired world.

Matt gave a compelling and interesting presentation demonstrating some features of Google that he was particularly proud of, including advancements in location based predictive searches and Insights for Search. The latter is a powerful way to compare search volume patterns to allow anyone to gauge search popularity of anything over time.

Part of his presentation focussed on mobile and Googles Chrome browser, but unfortunately, the network in the part of the BBC we were in wouldn't allow for it, so the presentation was a little shorter than expected, but this did afford a good amount of time for an inspirational question and answer session. 

Matt pointed out how strong the UK is in terms of our production of high quality content, video, games music and other media. It was also enlightening to note that over 7% of the UK's GDP comes from e-commerce, which is a world leading figure and twice as much as the US. Matt told us that the question of search is far from solved, and Google are still innovators who use their popularity to make funds to power their research and innovation.

My personal favourite question focussed on what Matt would do if he was in charge of the University of Salford. He stressed that he would focus on openness, cross departmental working and creating small teams to solve long term problems. This was encouraging to hear given the University's move towards being more open. Examples of this include the University's research repository USIR. Openness, sharing, cross departmental working and the mixture of science and creativity are very much the driving force and underpinning principle behind Creative Hive, so it was encouraging to hear Matt advocating such principles.

It was a very worthwhile trip to MediaCity and it's really encouraging to be seeing such distinguished figures speaking here and the links between industry, the University and the BBC starting to blossom.

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Oct 19, 2011 : alison-burrows Says:

"Google it", a shortening of the phrase, "Look it up on Google", in itself reveals the popularity of this search engine. I think we, from the University of Salford, must be heartened by the recent visit of Matt Brittin to Media City, and his call for interactivity between departments must be implemented. Creative Hive itself is a leader in this, between new technologies and the arts, and its encouragement of initiative between the Midwifery Department and the Birth Rites Art Collection, is exemplary.

Oct 19, 2011 : alexfenton Says:

Thanks very much Alison. It was a really inspiring session. I think it's easy (for me) to become a bit obsessive about the idea of cross departmental and pan university student collaborations, but I'm glad you agree that Creative Hive is a positive force in this area. The whole concept seems to be gaining some momentum, thanks for your continued support!

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