Feeds

Google News fails to Digg-ify itself

Expects business card from Tooth Fairy

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Google News is allowing Digg-style reader comments. Sort of.

Today, on the official Google News blog, software engineers Dan Meredith and Andy Golding announced a "new, experimental feature" that gives readers the power to publicly comment on stories turned up by the site's news aggregator - if they're actually involved in the stories.

"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," they wrote. "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."

So, although Google won't edit reader comments, it will decide which are worthy of posting. All comments must be sent to the company via email, and then an army of Google minions will do their best to prove that everyone really is who they say they are.

If you send a comment, you must also include explicit instructions for verifying your email address. Google's help site provides some, well, help:

For example, if the Tooth Fairy wanted to comment on a recent story about dental hygiene, she might sign her comment:

"Sincerely, Tooth Fairy.

Verify my identity by losing a tooth and placing it under your pillow. I will leave you a business card along with a small payment for your tooth. Alternately you can call 1-800-TEETH-4-ME and speak to my assistant, The Tooth Mouse, who can confirm my email address and comment."

The trouble is that few Internet users have the power to magically leave business cards under Google's pillows - and even the Tooth Fairy won't turn up until the sun goes down over California. We can't quite see how the company can promptly verify all those identities over the phone - or why it's even going to try.

Google seems to know a thing or two about leveraging the power of the Web. Why doesn't it use browsers to take comments from all readers, including "the actual participants in the story in question"? It takes low-quality videos from all YouTube users. Posting comments from everyone is much easier - and much more interesting. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.