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My Trip to Google & Facebook HQ in California

Life as a digital marketer never stops. The industry is so fast-paced that even several weeks out can leave you behind which is why I always try and follow the news even when on holiday (god bless iPhones!)

This year however, I took it up a couple o’ notches and managed to score a tour around Facebook HQ just outside San Francisco (thanks to an old school friend) and a quick look around the GooglePlex in Mountain View – needless to say its like Disneyland for me! Here’s some of what we got up to…

 

Welcome to Google! Unfortunately a combination of a private function and increased security meant that much of the campus was off-limits but we got to see lots of cool stuff anyway...

Welcome to Google! Unfortunately a combination of a private function and increased security meant that much of the campus was off-limits but we got to see lots of cool stuff anyway…

Being a Sunday, the campus was pretty dead so we afforded ourselves a little private tour. My friend Carlo decided it was only right to 'safety test' the Google bikes. Turns out, they're not very safe!

Being a Sunday, the campus was pretty dead so we afforded ourselves a little private tour. My friend Carlo decided it was only right to ‘safety test’ the Google bikes. Turns out, they’re not very safe!

No trip to Google would have been complete without an teeny-weenie go on the famous Google bikes (what, they were just lying there...). No gears and back peddling to brake = two almost-crashes. Technically only Google employees are allowed to use the bikes and we lasted about 15 mins before we got busted!

No trip to Google would have been complete without an teeny-weenie go on the famous Google bikes (what, they were just lying there…). No gears and back peddling to brake = two almost-crashes. Technically only Google employees are allowed to use the bikes and we lasted about 15 mins before we got busted!

Android sculptures including the new 'Kit-Kat' Android

Android sculptures including the new ‘Kit-Kat’ Android

Standard geek pose. (The camera didn't like focusing on the green so I maintained that pose and grin for at least two full minutes. Commitment, say it with me kids...)

Standard geek pose. The camera didn’t like focusing on the green so I maintained that pose and grin for at least two full minutes. Commitment, say it with me kids…

Well, if you insist...

Well, if you insist…

Self-explanatory shot with a street view car.

Self-explanatory shot with a street view car.

The Facebook campus comes a close second to Google's with cool little quirks, awesome interior design (if you can call it that) and an amazing team culture. Very jealous of the guys that work here!

The Facebook campus comes a close second to Google’s with cool little quirks, awesome interior design (if you can call it that) and an amazing team culture. Very jealous of the guys that work here!

Unlike Google, we were invited (and didn't have to hide from security!)

Unlike Google, we were invited (and didn’t have to hide from security!)

First stop, the cool games room with lots of retro arcade games, big-screen Fifa and a dance mat (much to my girlfriend's excitement - we didn't leave for 30mins)

First stop, the cool games room with lots of retro arcade games, big-screen Fifa and a dance mat (much to my girlfriend’s excitement – we didn’t leave for 30 mins)

The Facebook campus is one long 'street' with shops, (free) restaurants and entertainment. The main courtyard hosts the famous 'hackathons'.

The Facebook campus is one long ‘street’ with shops, (free) restaurants and entertainment. The main courtyard hosts the famous ‘hackathons’.

facebook-campus2

The main ‘highway’ – all meticulously maintained, its almost like a museum

EPIC Restaurant. One of many that staff can eat and drink to their heart's content - all fully comp of course!

EPIC Restaurant. One of many that staff can eat and drink to their heart’s content – all fully comp of course!

Facebook is famous for its interior design celebrating free speech and free will. They have a cool printing press room where employees can design and create motivational posters and other decorations to use where they please...

Facebook is famous for its interior design celebrating free speech and free will. They have a cool printing press room where employees can design and create motivational posters and other decorations to use where they please…

facebook-fridges

Fancy a quick pick-me-up? Fully stocked fridges, coffee stations, candy shops etc are dotted around everywhere – with no need to get out your wallet.

The original Facebook Wall! One of the coolest things ever!

The original Facebook Wall! One of the coolest things ever!

Yup, that's me. I've just gone done writing on the wall immortalising myself in the world of Facebook and feeling pretty smug about it!

Yup, that’s me. I’ve just gone done writing on the wall immortalising myself in the world of Facebook and feeling pretty smug about it!

If you are interested in finding out more, or have a question about either the GooglePlex or Facebook HQ, please hit me up on Google+

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Wow you made it to the author bio? Go you! What, a little bit about me? Oh OK then, shucks - where to start? When I'm not marketing digitally, you can find me in the sea, on the snow or round the streets with a board at my feet, usually listening to some little known rock band. Catch me on Twitter (@rickeliason) or on my Facebook page where I'm documenting my journey to 100,000 site visitors in 12 months (www.facebook.com/LifeofanSEO).

Posted in Facebook, Google

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