Interesting story doing the rounds today about how Google News lets relevant people add comments to it’s news articles. The keyword here is “relevant”, in that they don’t let the unwashed masses comment, but instead people or organisations connected to the story can add their comments by sending an email to Google. The emails are vetted and commentor authenticity verified before the comments are published.
It’s an interesting idea in that the human vetting element does add a measure of quality to the process, but it also impedes the scalability of the entire process. It also opens up a number of questions as to how authenticity of commentors will be verified and whether the whole system is open to social engineering and manipulation. One thing is for sure, the PR world will be having an interesting day with this one, as it’s another channel they can use to get their clients in the spotlight.
There’s some interesting debate on Techmeme on what this means, with people picking out different points of interest. From the fact that comments will not have a link to the commentor’s website, to the impact this move has on jounalism to why the story was announced by techies (and there are some that are more cynical than most). This is definitely one to watch 😉