Thursday, October 05, 2006

Truth and the Internet 

No doubt you read this story in the last day or so about Google's CEO predicting a way on the internet for anyone to check the accuracy of a politician's statements. To some degree, that exists, but one has to dig. Schmidt is predicting in five years there will be an easy way for any citizen to do it and for a service like Google to render a probability of truthfulness.

What he failed to say is that similar truth-telling approaches will be applied to companies as well, such as this blog posting comparing the cost of car services for two chief executives in New York. Once facts are available somewhere, they are potentially available everywhere on the internet. It's a matter of building search and database functions. The SEC has already announced it will convert its EDGAR company information database into XML, which will make access of company records easy for the entire world.

Those of us who work in corporate PR can shake our heads at the follies of the political world, but with the Sarbanes-Oxley law and increasingly activist boards, we have our own problems. The problems, however, make our jobs more important in the eyes of CEOs, even CEOs who want to duck reporters.


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