The other day, I attended a launch party where Jeff Jarvis talked about his now best-selling book, “What Would Google Do?” I came back and assembled my reactions in a post entitled “What Would Google Do? / What Does Google Do?“. One of my strongest objections to Jarvis’s shtick is that he extols transparency as a particularly “Googley” attribute.
But now, in an interview with Steve Rubel from Micro Persuasion, Jarvis seems to accept that this really isn’t the case:
Mr. Rubel: You also talk a lot about transparency. Google, however, isn’t the most transparent company. What does the ad industry need to change here?Mr. Jarvis: Google is not perfect. It expects us all to be transparent — so we can be found in search, so we can benefit from our Googlejuice. But Google is not sufficiently transparent about its ad splits or its Google News sources. So, as our parents would say, this may be a case of doing what Google says more than what it does.
Amen! I’m not saying Google is evil, or trying to incite a round of accusing Google of not living up to its ideals. But I am glad to see Jarvis coming clean on the point I found most objectionable in his presentation. Now I’m at least open to finding out if I should actually get the book and read it.