Thursday, August 09, 2007

An Important Experiment 

Google in its news gathering is trying an important experiment. Here is a direct quote:

We wanted to give you a heads-up on a new, experimental feature we'll be trying out on the Google News home page. Starting this week, we'll be displaying reader comments on stories in Google News, but with a bit of a twist...We'll be trying out a mechanism for publishing comments from a special subset of readers: those people or organizations who were actual participants in the story in question. Our long-term vision is that any participant will be able to send in their comments, and we'll show them next to the articles about the story. Comments will be published in full, without any edits, but marked as "comments" so readers know it's the individual's perspective, rather than part of a journalist's report.

This means that PR practitioners have a new source for correcting mistakes in articles about their organizations and people. It's a good idea, and I hope it works. My fear is that people will abuse the feedback to make silly points rather than serious commentary.


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