Feeds

Google News fails to Digg-ify itself

Expects business card from Tooth Fairy

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

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
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.