Thursday, May 05, 2005

GoogleNews Refinement Plan Could Oust Blogs

Outside The Beltway blogged Google is applying for a patent on a revised version of its popular news aggregator that could take blogs out of the mix. Given the OTB is among the blogs currently included in Google's news aggregator, I've got a stake in the outcome.

I certainly like the idea that Google includes OTB among their news sources. I asked them to include mine, and their response was "We have reviewed but cannot include it in Google News at this time. We do not include sites that are written and maintained by a single individual. Similarly, we do not include sites that do not have a formal editorial review process. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us and will log your site for consideration should our requirements change." OTB certainly is written by multiple individuals, but I looked all over their Blog, and did not see their formal editorial review process.
While I was initially dubious about the inclusion of blogs, which frankly vary widely in quality, the average blog in the aggregator provides more value than all but a handful of newspapers. Most of the stories from regional newspapers are nothing more than short versions of AP, Reuters, or AFP pieces. The blogs provide links, excerpts, and commentary--often all in the same story. That's a valuable service.

Are blogs biased? Absolutely. But so are the mainstream media sources, as has been well documented, not least of which by the blogs. The difference is that blogs don't pretend to be objective.


Anonymous said...

Greetings Don,

This is another Don. I was unaware of this troubling piece of news. It seems that they are trying to silence bloggers because they can't beat them. In addition I've heard stories about Google delisting people with pro-Delay content. I don't think it will fly. I'm pretty sure they are clueless as to how big Goliath has grown.


James said...

I'm the Editor-in-Chief of the site and approve and sometimes edit the other pieces. Mostly, though, they have a bias toward multi-author sites vice single-authored ones.

The latter is apparently fairly recent--there are some single author blogs that have been grandfathered.

Don Singleton said...

Any idea what they are looking for in the non-grandfathered sites in the way of an editorial policy?