A friend sent me this link to a piece written by Jonathan Rosenberg of Google on the meaning of the term "open". This is old hat to those of us who have already seen the light, of course ;-). [Rosenberg's calisthenics when he then tries to justify the closed bits of the Google ecosystem are quite amusing.] But to people who have not given much thought to openness and tend to follow the herd on technology (the bigger the brand name, the better), this open letter may hold many eye-opening insights (all puns intended).
I would perhaps have said what Rosenberg did in half the length, but brevity isn't a necessary quality of openness, so I'll forgive him :-). The main danger of the unnecessary length is it may just cause some of the audience to stop reading before the end, when Rosenberg delivers his most inspired paragraph:
Open will win. It will win on the Internet and will then cascade across many walks of life: The future of government is transparency. The future of commerce is information symmetry. The future of culture is freedom. The future of science and medicine is collaboration. The future of entertainment is participation. Each of these futures depends on an open Internet.Amen to that. In fact, that's worth repeating in a more structured form:
The future of government is transparency.
The future of commerce is information symmetry.
The future of culture is freedom.
The future of science and medicine is collaboration.
The future of entertainment is participation.
I would like to analyse these in greater detail and add to/modify the list, because I'm sure this is incomplete.
For now, this is a document that is worth circulating to our brand name-dazzled colleagues. After all, Google is one of the biggest brands out there, so if Google is endorsing openness, there must be something in it ;-).
Now if only IBM would come out with an OpenTM line of products, we would be willing to write a cheque...