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Google's Presidents' Day Address

A company exec's rallying of Google employees leads to discussion on future offerings.
Continuing in that vein, Rosenberg argues that the Internet needs systems that encourage the creation of high-quality content creation and editing "because without them we will all sink in a cesspool of drivel." He adds, "We need to make it easier for the experts, journalists, and editors that we actually trust to publish their work under an authorship model that is authenticated and extensible, and then to monetize in a meaningful way."

That's what Google's Knol was supposed to be.

Amid catchy but fragile metaphors like "data is the sword of the 21st century, those who wield it well, the Samurai," Rosenberg does offer some frank talk. He admits, for example, that Google "still [has] a long way to go in making Web-based applications robust enough for businesses."

That's something you don't hear from Google's enterprise product managers.

And Rosenberg goes further, presenting scenarios of that future many would consider unsettling. He contemplates Google knowing enough about a person to surf the Web on his or her behalf, anticipating questions before they're asked. He proposes that car rental companies could offer a 30% discount to drivers who agreed to have their speed limit compliance tracked by GPS reporting. What's not to like about a Big Brother that keeps you safe?

Small wonder that Google still has to defend itself against privacy advocates.

For all that, it's hard to fault Rosenberg's rallying cry to the troops in these dire times; perilous as the future is with Google, it would be far worse without it.

"As Googlers our responsibility is nothing less than to help support the future of information, the global transition in how it is created, shared, consumed, and used to solve big problems," he concludes. "Our challenge is to steer incessantly toward greatness, to never think small when we can think big, to strive on with the work Larry and Sergey began over ten years ago, and from this task we will not be moved."


What else could Google have up its sleeve? InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).