I read a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle this afternoon commenting on how Google News runs without editors, etc. As you might expect from a print journalist, editors aren’t going away anytime soon. He also doesn’t find much value in weblogs — but that’s another story.
That being said, I was just thinking — what would Google News look like inside the corporate firewall? Google’s been selling an inside the firewall search appliance for a while now and recently announced some enhancements. What if Google updated that appliance to add Google News? What might it look like? Let’s play Google product manager…
First of all, the news could be “tuned” to reflect the particular interests of the company. What might those be? Obviously, the company itself and reporting on anywhere a story about the company might pop up on the net. (Sidebar: VeriSign offers “Brand Monitoring Services” to corporations seeking to monitor usage of their brands — wouldn’t Google be able to do this far better?)
Second, the Google News radar could be adjusted to similarly focus on the company’s competitors — and what are they doing that’s making headlines?
Same thing for newsgroup postings about the company or its competitors.
What else? How about internal corporate news automatically being picked up by Google News and posted to the news page(s)?
All of this happening without human intervention, not having to pay a bunch of folks to do press clippings, etc. Buy an applicance, setup a few parameters, and off you go. No staff. Quick ROI. Pretty compelling business model, seems to me.
Hmm, seems to me that there some interesting possibilities for new functionality for that inside the firewall Google appliance! Can this be done? Would the search be centralized or distributed? Might the searches cooperate in some fashion?
What would Microsoft’s Google News page (intranet version) actually look like? How about O’Reilly’s?
What if you had you own personal Google News engine on your desktop? We’ve got a bit of that functionality today with Radio Userland and other aggregators — but don’t they all suddenly seem quite crude in comparison with what Google News is doing?