by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 26th 2007 4:46pm
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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