Viva Data Liberation Front!

I am often amazed by how much Google understands and practices good business logic.  The latest is their support for the Data Liberation Front.  This is a group of employees dedicated to "Users should be able to control the data they store in any of Google's products.  Our team's goal is to make it easier to move data in and out."

There is much evidence that Google wants to be leaders in cloud computing.  And they seem to realize that cloud computing is attractive only if it is possible to make our data portable, cost effectively, and easily.  The old web strategy of trying to create "Stickiness" usually involved having customers invest much time and effort to add their own data and meta data, and thus make it difficult for them to move.  But instead, Google has realized that many people might be reluctant to invest themselves totally in cloud computing (such as in Google Apps) if it is difficult to get their data out somewhere down the road and move to another service.  Fixing this increases the trust level.

I wholeheartedly support this approach.  I have found myself checking on several cloud computing sites (PBWorks and Evernote to name two) and have invested in their use only when I saw I could get my data out in some common format -- such as XML files.

Good for Google!  May this initiative set a standard for others to follow.  And may it help cement Google's leadership.