Will Google Do Real News?

June 23, 2011

Will Google do “real” news? I read “Salon CEO Gingras Resigns to Become Global Head of News Products at Google.” I think this is a fascinating action on the part of Google. In Google: The Digital Gutenberg, published by Infonortics Ltd. in 2009, I looked at Google’s content technology. My focus was not on indexing. I reviewed the parse, tag, chop, and reassemble systems and methods that Google’s wizards had invented. The monograph is available at this link. The monograph may be useful for anyone who wants to understand what happens when “real” journalists get access to the goodies in the Googleplex. In addition, to Odwalla beverages, the Google open source documents suggest that snippets of text and facts can be automatically assembled into outputs that one could describe as “reports” or “new information objects.” Sure, a human is needed in some of these processes, but Google uses lots of humans. Its public relations machine and liberal mouse pad distribution policy helps keep the myth alive that Google is all math all the time. Not exactly accurate.

The write up says:

The new position as the senior executive overseeing Google News, as well as other products that may be in the pipeline, comes several years after Gingras worked as a consultant at the Mountain View campus, focusing on ways the search giant could improve its news products.

What will come from a “real” journalist getting a chance to learn about some of the auto assembly technology? I offer some ideas in my Digital Gutenberg monograph. Publishers may want to ponder this idea as well. Google is more than search, and we are going to learn more about its intentions in the near future.

Five years ago, when Google was at the top of its game, I would have had little hesitation to give Google a better than 50 percent chance of success. Now with the Amazon, Apple, and Facebook environment, I am not so sure. Google has been relying more on buying stuff that works and playing a hard game of “Me Too.”

With the most recent reworking of Google News, I find myself turning to Pulse, Yahoo News, and NewsNow.co.uk. Am I alone?

Stephen E Arnold, June 23, 2011

From the leader in next-generation analysis of search and content processing, Beyond Search.


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