Francis Hwang on Mon, 24 Mar 2003 12:45:21 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Chuck0: Google News rejects Infoshop News; Indymedia and blogs next?

You know, I really ought to learn to read better. Any non-cursory 
reading of Geert's forward would've indicated that, yes, these are two 
entirely distinct instances of Google P.R. issues. (I would gripe that 
Geert's forward didn't include any link for me to read further, but I'm 
afraid to admit that I'm actually that lazy.)

Anyway. A little searching on that one search website that everybody 
uses but some of us are nervous about found me this page: (I've 
always found those something-slash-something-slash-something story IDs 
to be totally inane: another crime against programming committed by the 
people at Slashdot, but I digress.)

I don't know if this case is a big deal either. Basically it seems like 
the case of an Indymedia-style politicblog wanting to be indexed 
alongside professionally staffed pubs like the New York Times. Sure, we 
can argue that in these days of amateur online publishing that the 
difference between the pros and the amateurs is quickly disappearing 
blah blah blah. But the fact of the matter is that most people in this 
world (i.e. Google's target audience) still distinguish strongly 
between a paid reporter for the New York Times and some guy who lives 
in Brooklyn who's pissed at how the cops treated him at the last 

More fruitful, I think, would be to beat the drums loudly for the 
rising blogosphere, and ways that non-obsessives can start following 
along with this sort of chatter. Me, I used Blogdex for a while 
(, which counts links across the 
blogosphere and then tells you the most popular. These days, most of 
these links are straight war stories, of course, but there's also the 
Gulf War Drinking Game, and some guy in the National Guard who had his 
name legally changed to "Optimus Prime". Roll out!

Blogdex isn't the only blog-aggregating service out there: There are 
lots of different approaches, all imperfect. The main problem with 
Blogdex is that one story can show up in the same form at ten different 
sites, each being heavily linked to. When the bombing started, for 
example, the front page was flooded with different stories on it, 
though they were all pretty much saying the same thing. More 
sophisticated aggregation would be great, to help truly novel stories 
stand out, but it would take some seriously heavy lifting to pull that 
stuff off.

Hey, wait a sec, didn't Google just buy Blogger? Goodness. Be careful 
what you wish for.


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