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Google Businesses The Internet Media

What's Next For Google News 59

Posted by kdawson
from the love-the-traffic-but dept.
Stony Stevenson writes in with a Computerworld interview with a Google product manager talking about what's coming up for Google News, such as the possible addition of a video component and closer cooperation with YouTube. "One of Google's most popular and controversial services, Google News, is the aggregation and search site that media companies love to hate because it has become a major source of Web traffic and frustrations for many of them.... 'In an ideal world, Google News would show you who broke the story and the other articles that built on that. There are places where we're not doing that perfectly today.'"
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What's Next For Google News

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  • Streaming Video (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:06AM (#19253737)
    and their own team of reporters would be nifty. Google TV and maybe re-stream CSPAN, etc... I'd like to see that at least.
    • Or live sports scores of THE MOUNTAINEERS!

      WOOT!
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      Why would i want this? This push to videofy the web isn't such a great idea. One of the nice parts of google news (or yahoo news or whomever) is that I can get various stories in a decent format and read the day's news in a few minutes. In video a few minutes is barely the intro. And the sensationism that usually goes with televised news. and the 3 minute weather report. I dont need a 3-minute weather report. I just put my zipcode into weather.com. Not to mention, like a lot of people, I cant even watch
  • EPIC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:07AM (#19253775)
    We get closer to EPIC [albinoblacksheep.com] everyday.
    • Re:EPIC (Score:5, Funny)

      by rockout (1039072) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:03PM (#19255903)
      Are you kidding me? I'm supposed to listen to that entire thing? I want my predictions of media-in-the-future presented to me in easily digested 30-second sound bites, dammit.

      In fact, I've already lost interest in typing th

      • by HobophobE (101209)
        Ideally we'll start doing that (as funny as it is). Video and audio should be chunkable (and formats need to be developed to do that (or do they already exist?)) Presentations like EPIC should be 'chapter' indexed and easily paused and skipped through.

        We're heading to a world of alternative views. Why should I have to right click->properties as opposed to right click->context menu? The interface is different, but the information contained in both is identical. The development and design of the future
  • Good and Bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:09AM (#19253811) Journal
    Finding the links and publishing who really got the scoop and who were the followers might seem like a good idea. But already there is such a great rush to publish, such a system will give more incentives to "publish first verify later" attitude.

    May be Google could maintain the records of false reports, reports that were later corrected etc and come up with a "trustability" coefficient for the reporters and reporting organizations. This will probably give some incentives to verify the reports.

    • Re:Good and Bad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by packetmon (977047) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:29AM (#19254145) Homepage
      One of the problems I could foresee with this will be an issue of credibility and a lot of mishmashed news. E.g. (US version) "Military personnel targeted and destroyed a terrorist training camp" ... (Arabic version) "US Military personnel bombed innocent children today..."

      Who's going to determine which view of the news is correct and incorrect. Its different when you can read and infer as opposed to having someone verbally tell you their representation. PsyOps/Intelligence personnel from any country could/would have a field day with this video idea.
      • Re:Good and Bad (Score:4, Insightful)

        by s.bots (1099921) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:36AM (#19254271)
        I don't think "mishmashed news" would be a problem for me. I think showing both sides of the story allows people to gather a lot more information and decide for themselves what really happened. It seems like all too often people will simply believe what they're told by the most convenient media outlet and leave it at that. By aggregating all the news from worldwide sources, Google could allow people a much broader view of the world.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aichpvee (631243)
          Only where there are two sides and where both are equally valid. Showing "both" sides of most controversial topics today basically requires you to show one insane position without any evidence to back it and then one that does have evidence.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by engwar (521117)
            I hope you're not implying that the US-centric version is always the 'valid' side and the one that might show the US in a negative light is always the 'insane position'.

            Pretty please? You're not that naive, right?

            • I'm all for bashing good ol' US when appropriate but it seems to me GP was referring to issues such as Global Warming vs Deniers. The latter lack any peer-reviewed credible evidence of their position, these days respectable scientific debate is divided between those who believe GW is human-made versus those who don't think so but its existence is pretty much an accepted fact*

              Or Evolution vs Intelligent Design. Evolution is a scientific theory susceptible of verification and deniability whereas ID is a prop

            • I suspect he was referring to US internal politics...

              Seen from my point the dividing line in US politics seem to be between right wing extremists and right wing lunatics. Showing "both sides" in such a situation does not really bring any additional light to the subject.
    • by Kijori (897770)
      That pressure already exists; good journalists are assumed to be those who get stories first. People want papers that report news first, and journalistic awards rarely go to follow-ups. This pressure has separated news reporting into two camps, the authoritative trustworthy sources (newspapers of record, BBC News etc) and those with less scruples - in Britain Channels 4 and 5 always have plenty of retractions and sensationalism, as do lower quality newspapers - although tabloids tend to avoid the problem by
    • Re:Good and Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nbauman (624611) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:00PM (#19255825) Homepage Journal

      "publish first verify later" attitude.
      As a journalist myself I can tell you something about that attitude.

      There are different news sources for different purposes, and each one requires a different degree of verifiability.

      I knew a guy who edited an electronic newsletter for metals traders. In their business, they have a saying, "buy on rumor, sell on fact." They wanted rumors, and they wanted them immediately. They were paying $1,000 a year subscription for that privilege.

      If you happen to be living in New Orleans, and the weather station finds out about a hurricane headed your way, you might want to know about that immediately rather than wait for the White House to verify the facts.

      OTOH when I read about the potential dangers of a new drug that millions of people may be taking http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMe0780 99 [nejm.org] , I want the facts to be checked pretty carefully. They've got plenty of time, and that's their responsibility. I read the Wall Street Journal, and they did a pretty good job of verifying the story. And they did it by their midnight deadline. I think the major news media did a pretty good job on the Avandia story -- considering that we won't be able to really verify the facts for another 5 years when the big randomized controlled trials are finished.

      I also expect that when the President of the U.S. gives us reasons why we should go to war, the newspapers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Miller_(journa list)#New_York_Times_career:_2002-2005 [wikipedia.org] won't just parrot his lies, but will do independent, skeptical investigations http://www.democracynow.org/ [democracynow.org] to get all sides of the story and give us enough information so that we can weigh the facts ourselves and figure out the truth. http://www.bartleby.com/130/2.html [bartleby.com] I could reduce journalism to one rule: Always get the other side. If they get both sides, it's good journalism. If not, it's propaganda.

      There's plenty of news sources that do that. http://pulitzer.org/ [pulitzer.org] http://pulitzer.org/cgi-bin/year.pl?1979,16 [pulitzer.org] If you don't like the news you see on Google, be a little bit more selective in what you read.

      I think readers have a certain responsibility to learn how to think. As the New Scientist suggested last week, people who know how to think will turn the argument around and look at it from the other guy's perspective. It's not fair to complain about the news media just because the stories report facts you don't agree with. If you did agree with them all the time, they wouldn't be doing their job -- which is to give your preconceived notions a kick in the ass sometimes.
    • I don't understand the fascination newspeople have with scoops and breaking news. IMHE, scoops/breaking news articles are usually full of errors if they contain more than one line. If they want to do more than provide a headline, they need to do a decent job getting their facts straight, which they won't do if they value speed. I've heard so much blabber from newspeople about the news cycle that just doens't make since.

      Besides, when I use Google News, I don't blindly click on the top headline. I look to
    • I'd love to be able to see where a story came from. Especially for online news sources, we often have the situation where 20 different sites all post the same story, but the details differ. The stories are translated back and forth between languages, each site has to use their own words (otherwise it is a copyright violation), and many sites have their own angles.

      Being able to track down the relationship between the reports would greatly help separating the facts from the fiction in the story.
  • I'm sure it will be decent for RSS and other sorts, but they'll never show anything such as this Google and Memorial day [newsbusters.org]
    • Tell me again why anyone should care? I'm serious, what does it matter if Google are a little bit not patriotic? Personally (and I'm not in the US), I had to do a search (ironically using Google...) to actually even find out what it is!

      I'd be more worried if they were glorifying past military adventures, rather then if they are simply ignoring them.

      You know what they say in Australia, "best we forget". For it is better to forget then to glorify war, to raise to hero status those who have died in service
      • I'm not going to get into the whole theory of things. They don't celebrate Memorial Day or Veterans Day, which are American holidays. America being the country they're from.

        They DO, in fact, celebrate military heros and liberations of other countries.

        Now, I'm not a fan of war by any means, but a reason to not support your own country's fallen, (yet support others) is a shot in the gut.

        Honestly, Americans as well as others who died trying to fight Hitler and such.

        It's not all about being patriotic, b
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:17AM (#19253951)
    I don't care who broke a story first. What I want is the story that covers the event best.
    • by eln (21727)
      That's not how the news media works. The big glaring headlines are reserved for "fast breaking" news that is high on volume and low on content. The actually informative investigative pieces are below the fold in the Sunday paper where nobody reads them.
  • by Lockejaw (955650) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:20AM (#19254001)

    the aggregation and search site that media companies love to hate because it has become a major source of Web traffic and frustrations for many of them
    If you'd rather not have the traffic, just say who you are, and I'll gladly avoid your site!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I pull plenty RSS feeds from Google/News to analyze how Media works.

    You can draw charts which news channel or paper is owned by whom and make predictions how channel or paper XY will add or remove information from an article to push lobbying in one or the other direction (or sometimes both if the Ad revenue demands it).

    It helped me to understand how we get manipulated. It made me ignorant for my own good.

    You might believe that you find the truth between left and right? Even those days are over.
  • Thanks, but.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:37AM (#19254285) Homepage
    Contrary to what moronic sites like Digg (which last I checked only allows one submission per URL, with no editorial review) would have you believe is the "right way" to do things, I really don't care in the slightest who reported on an event "first". I care who reported on it in a manner which tells me best what I want to know about it.
    • I think a number of you are misinterpreting what the GP was trying to say with the "who reported it first" thing... These days, often one news agency will report something, and everyone else will just grab their article, pull what meager facts there are from it, add some editorialization, and re-publish. With Google News, you can tell who was the original author of any specific version of the news, which does often help in understanding what's actually going on.

      Example: Microsoft publishes an article "Mi

  • I would start with the obvious things, like animated GIFs, marquee tags for headlines, and background sounds. Ohhh and those Javascript routines that make your mouse cursor look all weird! I mean yeah, YouTube news videos would be nice I guess, but that shouldn't be at the top of the list.
  • I know not all on this site like Digg & Reddit but I find these sites have merit in flagging news. Better still would be if a user community was to interact with Google News (which ought extend to more journal articles etc). Then they could "tag" stories & vote as with say Reddit. More interestingly GoogleNews could start learning what I liked (e.g. as with all slashdottians stories about new & improved blowup wives) but better again it could start learning who I liked: e.g. perhaps 68% of times
  • by TechnoBunny (991156) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:42AM (#19254377)
    If people are rushing to be 'FRIST!' then wont verification of facts come a distant second to making a scoop?

    Its bad enough with 24h news networks trying to out do each other - this can only make it worse. Why not rank in terms of the reliability of the source. (How one measures that is, of course, a bit of a problem...)
  • I'm not sure what's next, but I know what's already here -- horizontal scrollbars!

    Sigh.

    My guess is that most web designers are also Windows users who run all their programs in fullscreen, or otherwise work for folks that believe their sites merit an inordinate amount screen real estate. Given the amount of rubbish on the intarweb, I don't think I'm alone in finding a complaint or two in that regard. On my 1024x768 laptop, for example, I'll allot no more than 75% of the screen to a Firefox window (maybe fu
  • by Darth Cider (320236) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:01PM (#19254721)
    Google News could use more depth. As it is, "top stories" run for many days and categorized in the broadest possible way, making deeper search into less popular stories very difficult. If not for the search feature and Google Alerts, the site would be indistinguishable from the Associated Press wire. Personalization just doesn't allow enough options. I would like to see more refined categories. For example, instead of the blunt "Nanotechnology" category, subheadings for solar energy news would draw lots of interest, to name just one possibility. Or create sister sites: "Google Geek News," "Google Punditry News," "Google Phun News." Sure, their RSS reader allows anyone to create a personalized aggregator, but again that places an obstacle in the way, all the work involved in generating lists. (Just emulate originalsignal.com!)

    Eh, but the news is nothing really. The medium is the message. Google just wants to put ads in front of us. They have better resources than any company to help each of us find the news that will appeal to us and keep us coming back. YouTube is not the answer I was hoping for.
  • GeoRSS? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord Satri (609291) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .xuorelerdnaxela.> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @12:02PM (#19254731) Homepage Journal
    TFA doesn't mentions GeoRSS. Sad since Google already supports GeoRSS [slashdot.org] and it would be more than appropriate for global news diffusion...
  • They need to stop fscking with everything. It was fine, now it's starting to look cluttered.

    Google has made a right pig's ear out of Deja News where they have developed their own interface, which is javascript heavy and becoming a nuisance to use. I long for the days when i could read USENET news with Mozilla, threaded, unthreaded by date, etc.

  • Coming up with ways to improve a service like Google News is not the hard part. The hard part is implementation and, unfortunately, legal wrangling with the sites that Google aggregates. The latter probably prevents a number of easier-to-implement features because Google probably doesn't want to ruffle more feathers than they are already.

    That said, let me list a few things that I'd love to see with Google News.

    - Greater customization of the main page. One thing I thought of I see that GN already has - cu
  • by tji (74570)
    If there is one thing Internet services do not need, it's tighter video integration.

    A text article gives me the option to quickly scan it and get the bits I need, or skip it entirely because I'm not interested. This all takes a second or so. If it is interesting to me, I can read the full text for more thorough treatment of the issue.

    All this video junk takes us back to TeeVee mode. Bullshit commercials, intro from reporter, setup, then the actual item. This takes much longer, even when disregarding
  • But I'm sure http://daylife.com/ [daylife.com] will get there first ;)

    DISCLAIMER: I do work for them, so take my opinions with a grain of salt

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