Google Resorting To Begging To Get Folks To Comment On The News?

from the not-working-so-well,-huh? dept

It was a bit surprising when Google launched its feature for Google News that would allow those in a news story to comment on the story directly on Google News. After all, wouldn’t that just invite abuse? Google would have to make such an effort to make sure that the real people were the ones who wanted to comment that it would easily outweigh any benefit to offering the feature. Even more important, though, is that there’s hardly any lack of outlets for anyone who wants to get “their side of the story” out. You certainly don’t need Google News. It’s not hard to set up your own website or blog and give your side of the story these days. Hell, Google has it’s own tools to help you do both of those things already. The NY Times is now checking in on the Google News program almost five months after it launched and apparently the real issue is that no one seems to care about the offering at all. Google has to proactively contact people in various news stories and beg them to comment on Google News, and even then only a very small number of people are doing so. At any one time, there are only around 140 to 150 comments on all of Google News, suggesting that the program is barely used at all. It seems that Google would get better results figuring out how to tie an individual’s blog or personal website to a story, rather than begging them to comment directly on Google News.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Google Resorting To Begging To Get Folks To Comment On The News?”

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7 Comments
Kyle Wild (user link) says:

not surprising

in my experience within and without Google, this kind of thing isn’t surprising

some product manager probably had the OKR (AKA metric-driven mission, invoking blindness to other ideas) to drive up the number of comments, and resorted to that

the bureaucratic metric machine is beyond broken, and through its sheer unconscious ignorance (a trait of bureaucracies) the company is undoubtedly evil at times and good at times

Duodave (user link) says:

Hard to use a feature we cant find

OK. When I click the “News” link at the top of the iGoogle page, it takes me to a screen that shows me links to current news stories. To me, the generic user, these are offsite links, such as the Washington Post or New York Times.

After looking at this page for quite some time, I notice there is a tiny link marked “New!” that mentions comments.

However, it is totally unlike the comment interface on other blogs or news sites, so I can see how the average user would be confused. It’s not clear to me how to post comments of my own, or anything like that.

When I heard Google News was going to have comments, I thought that meant they would aggregate news articles and actually host the news, much in the way other sites host AP articles. Apparently this is not exactly the idea Google had in mind.

Perhaps if Google made their commenting system less obtuse, people would actually use it. Hell, I didn’t even know it was there.

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