An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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May 24, 2007

Google News to Add Videos and Social News Features?

Computerworld has an interview with Nathan Stoll, from Google News. The interviews reveals some of the philosophy of the product and possible future directions.

Google News wants to respect editors' choices in regards to the importance of a news and only one section from Google News is generated by looking at the popularity of a news. Another important idea behind Google News is showing more than one perspective for a news, and this is partially achieved by clustering related news.

Videos could enhance the way you understand a news. "To the extent that a lot of those [persectives] are in video and becoming available online, we'd certainly love to make those perspectives available and easily discoverable. With the YouTube team, working hard, it's certainly an area we'd like to make progress in."

Google also ponders the addition of features from social news sites like Digg. "We offer a most popular section on the front page of many of our editions. That popularity ranking signal is different from how the front page is ranked, which tries to reflect what editors are publishing on their sites. If we introduced a Digg-style feature, it would be more similar to that popularity metric."
What are you doing on the social news front, along the lines of sites like Digg and Slashdot?

Obviously Google has a number of products and services that touch on those types of areas. In News today we offer a number of customization and personalization features. If I was to give you themes about areas that we're working on, that would be one area in which we're very interested.

An internal document leaked from Google last year mentioned about a "radically improved [version of Google News that should allow] other news sources, and organizations and individuals mentioned in news stories to debate specific points". Google also licensed content from AFP and AP to be able to use the full text of a news.

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