I just want to clarify that the audience members who raised their hands were those who had their accounts suspended and reinstated. A guy sitting next to me said it would be worth it for him to be able to pay a hundred dollars just to be able to speak to someone in a situation like that. Others immediately nodded their head and voiced their agreement. The product manager seemed impressed by that level of desperation felt by the publishers, that they were willing to actually pay to talk to Google.
...and couldn't care less anyway?
Only if you close your eyes to reality. Attend a Learn with Google event first, then make up your mind. Anything else is being opinionated. No offense intended, and I apologize in advance because that is not my intention, I am just being frank. Making up one's mind without having been there simply seems opinionated. But you know, you're entitled to your opinion and so it goes. Though I would encourage you to consider that Google hosting these events are the physical manifestations, the tangible reality, of the fact that Google does indeed care about publishers doing well, particularly during a period of transition such as we are experiencing today.
I'm a skeptical person by nature, I'm nobody's fanboy. I have offered constructive criticism about AdSense. But judging by the effort Google expended to help publishers, my mind has changed. I am definitely heartened by their outreach to publishers and I think they want to seek ways to improve their relationship with publishers.
I'm not saying they are doing this out of altruism, the goodness of their hearts. But I think they understand that this mobile ad environment is moving faster than they and we are moving. And if this ad environment is going to be properly monetized, then both Google and publishers are going to have to make changes together to make this work. Google has to innovate new ways of displaying ads (which are in the works) and we are going to have to show alternate mobile-friendly layouts or develop layouts that are responsive design- and test, test, test for what works on mobile devices.
[edited by: martinibuster at 3:27 pm (utc) on Jan 30, 2013]