Google Lauds Transparency With Status Dashboard
| Google Apps Status Dashboard - 2/26/2009|
In recognition of all this, as well as in direct response to Tuesday's outage, Google's latest move in the name of transparency is the creation of the Google Apps Status Dashboard. The Dashboard provides current as well as historical status information about Google services, such as Mail, Calendar, Documents, Spreadsheets, and Video for business (see the screenshot above for the complete list of the Google services that the Dashboard monitors). Icons for "No issues," "Service disruption," "Service outage," and "Information available," represent "the most severe issue (if any) encountered during that day." At the time this news post was written, the Google Calendar service was displaying an "Information available" icon for today's status. Clicking on the icon opened a new window that provided additional information about the status of the Google Calendar service (see the screenshot below).
| Google Calendar status for 2/26/2009|
Google is certainly not the first service provider to make the status of its services available to its users. When Apple revamped its .Mac service to its new MobileMe service, it experienced a significant amount of technical hiccups along the way. One of the things that Apple did to ameliorate the situation was to increase the transparency of the status of the MobileMe service by providing an online System Status, as well as a History of status issues. Even large ISPs, such as Comcast also make the status of their services available to users (see the screenshot below).
| Comcast's Network Health Status on 2/26/2009|
This move towards increased transparency is a good one as it keeps users more informed. We can only hope that more service providers will follow suit, and perhaps take another page from the President's address and also focus on increased accountability as well.