Some big promises from the search giant in this manifesto posted to its public policy blog yesterday. In The meaning of open, Joshua Rosenberg, senior vice president of product management, says openness as a company and on the web has no clear definition:
The topic of open seems to be coming up a lot lately at Google. I’ve been in meetings where we’re discussing a product and someone says something to the effect that we should be more open. Then a debate ensues which reveals that even though most everyone in the room believes in open we don’t necessarily agree on what it means in practice.
He then goes on to describe what open means for Google’s business – and how the search engine is attempting to become more transparent – a regular sticking point for the newspaper and publishing industry, which have criticised the secrecy surrounding the search engine’s online practices.
Rosenberg also levels another criticism:
We are often attacked for being too big, but sometimes being bigger allows us to take on the impossible.
Whether this will be enough to sate other players (namely newspapers) is uncertain, but it seems Google is making yet more attempts, following its recent launches such as Fast Flip and alternative indexing, to make 2010 the year of olive branches and openness.