Google announced that its news site will start allowing unedited comments from those the story is written about. So if it is a story about how terrible Rev2.org has been lately, we’ll be able to comment in the form of “Go shove it! – Rev2 staff.” Paris Hilton could respond to her latest issues with a drunken drawl about … well we’re not sure we want to know. The point is, Google News just got a lot more interesting in a real unique way.
Michael Arrington pointed out that this could be an interesting idea, but since they are hosting original news content there is a problem with them not allowing other news sources in on the content. There is currently no actual comments to view, but we’re hopeful it will be soon. Note that not just anyone can send in a comment — it has to be someone legitimately involved in the story. Find your article, and then follow the posted regulations.
This, however, brings up an interesting debate. Google News is a search engine, and the job of a search engine is to help people find content — and take them there. Infact, Google itself has said that it is a complete technology and no intention of being in the content business. This addition, though, leads Google in the other direction. Google News will soon no longer only display the ‘title and two sentence’ snippet from the New York Times, but really go further to build a complete compilation for that piece of news — essentially, its own content based on others’.
And this questions the advantages for a news source of having their content listed in Google News. What’s the point in feeding a monster when you know it’s eventually going to eat you? With a title and snippet, you know you’re guaranteed that clickthrough because nobody is going to be able to decipher a piece of news just by reading those — and if you have the most eye-catching one on the page or one amongst the top few, you’re gonna get that clickthrough. But now, users have a reason to do something otherwise, and this is pushing content creators to weigh their options.