Archive for June, 2010
There’s an old saying that all news is local. But all news is personal too—we connect with it in different ways depending on our interests, where we live, what we do and a lot of other factors. Today we’re revamping the Google News homepage with several changes designed to make the news that you see more relevant to you. We’re also trying to better highlight interesting stories you didn’t know existed and to make it easier for you to share stories through social networks.
The new heart of the homepage is something we call “News for you”: a stream of headlines automatically tailored to your interests. You can help us get it right by using the “Edit personalization” box to specify how much you’re interested in Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports or any subject you want to add (whether it’s the Supreme Court, the World Cup or synthetic biology). You can choose to view the stories by Section view or List view, and reveal more headlines by hovering over the headline with your mouse. We’ll remember your preferences each time you log in. If you don’t want customized Google News, hit “Reset personalization” to clear all personalization preferences. If you haven’t previously customized and would prefer not to, simply save and close the “Edit personalization” box. You can always go back and change it later.
To give you more control over the news that you see, we’re now allowing you to choose which news sources you’d like to see more or less often. You can do so in News Settings. These sources will rank higher or lower for you (but not for anyone else) in Google News search results and story clusters. We’ve also added keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation, like in Gmail or Google Reader. When you’re in Google News, hit the question-mark key to pop up a full list of shortcuts.
There are the subjects that interest you and then there’s the major news of the day. To make it easy for you to find the big stories like Hurricane Alex, we’re adding links to topics that many outlets are covering. You’ll find these topics in the Top Stories section on the left side of the homepage as well as in linked keywords above headlines. Clicking on a topic link takes you to a list of related coverage that you can add to your news stream. You can change your preferences any time in “Edit personalization.”
The redesigned Google News homepage is rolling out today in the English-language edition in the U.S., and we plan to expand it to all editions in the coming months. We’re making the ability to choose which sources you’ll see more or less often available in all English-language editions worldwide and plan to expand it soon. For more information about these changes, check out the video below or visit our Help Center.
Growing up a diehard Pistons fan in Detroit, Michigan, I was taught two things about the sport of basketball. First, always cheer against the Boston Celtics. Second, always cheer against the Los Angeles Lakers. Fortunately, this was an easy thing for me to do: the Pistons beat both teams en route to its first NBA championship in 1989.
Tonight, however, the Lakers and Celtics complete their twelfth championship match-up in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. This will be just the fifth time that a Lakers-Celtics Finals has reached seven games. And of course I know this by browsing through Google News Archive Search.
I can read about how Celtics coach Red Auerbach was “feeling a bit cocky” in the 1962 NBA Finals. Or about how the Celtics became the first major professional sports team to win eight consecutive championships by dispatching the Lakers in 1966. Or how Wilt Chamberlain wanted to beat Bill Russell’s Celtics “in the worst way” in 1969. (He didn’t; the Celtics won again.) Or about how Lakers coach Pat Riley wanted to make history in the 1984 NBA Finals by beating the Celtics in Game 7, on the road, in the old Boston Garden. (Yet again, the Lakers lost.)
While the Celtics have history on their side, this year’s Lakers can boast a better overall record and are the defending champions, having won the 2009 Finals. Then again, they lost in the 2008 NBA Finals to…the Boston Celtics.
So it should be a great game, and well worth following. For that, be sure to check Google News.
As for my prediction, what can I say? I’m still recovering from the fact that the Pistons had their worst record in sixteen years and didn’t even make the playoffs. I guess it’s impossible for both teams to lose, huh?
Krishna Bharat invented Google News more than eight years ago. His aim: help people easily find multiple perspectives on the news of the day by using computers to group together links to similar stories. Aside from a two-year stint in India to start our research and development operations there, Krishna has been working to improve Google News ever since.
Krishna visited the IJ-7 “innovation journalism” conference at Stanford University last week and held an on-stage conversation with David Nordfors, executive director of Stanford’s Center for Innovation and Communication. Below you can watch video of the conversation and hear from Krishna about why he created Google News, how it works, where it’s headed and why he’s optimistic about the future of professional journalism.