No one should know better than internet giant google that speed and openness = trust.
So why, in the face of what appears to be a major outtage, is their blog silent on the issue?
Other bloggers are reporting similar problems with Gmail, so it seems we do have a major outage. But Google isn’t saying what’s wrong with the service or when it will be back up. The most recent entry on the official Gmail blog is August 4 post on how to customize your Web clips, which is interesting but not particularly relevant to the problem hand.
Moments like these give businesses that rely on google a bit of reliability panic, and they give the rest of us a moment of realization re: the power balance. If google doesn’t want to tell us what’s up, they really don’t have to. They have that kind of market power.
UPDATE: Google has posted a response to the outtage on their blog. Interesting caveat:
We don’t usually post about problems like this on our blog, but we wanted to make an exception in this case since so many people were impacted.
In other words, rather than being open about problems as a matter of policy, google is simply reacting to a very public fuss with a PR sweetened coating. Which, as a private corporation that does no evil, is their right. Its just interesting on a couple of levels. On one level, that the privacy corporations shroud themselves in is such an established norm. And on another level, because its remarkably old tech to treat customers that way. If there is any trend it is a growing expectation towards being kept well informed by the entities whose services we use.