Keeping Up With the Citizens

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Google Blog Search Feed Offerings

Who ever said journalists are so special from everybody else? The political analysts sure aren't. Not with Google in charge.

That's because Google's Politics & Elections blog is making it easier for ordinary citizens to become political analysts for the rest of the world. Jake Parillo, part of Google's Politics & Elections team, announced on Monday that the team is asking for citizens to use Google's tools- Google Insights for SearchGoogle Trends,and Google Correlate, for example- to help the Google team discover political or election trends across the country.

People now have the ability to research and analyze their own political stories. But will they make use of it? Will these tools become commonplace with the average family? Hard to tell. Poynter.org reported last month that out of all the time people spend on the internet, only 2.6 percent of it is spent on current events or global news (22.5 percent of their time is spent on social media websites, and 35.1 percent is spent on website types not specified in the survey, including- yep- pornography). Google's bet seems to be that customizing political coverage for the average Joe is what will make people pay attention to the political world swirling around them, but the real question is whether citizens will put in the extra effort.

One thing is clear, though: if journalists plan on competing with the serious amateur news sources these days, reporters should be the first to dive in to this new technology.

Photo by Danny Sullivan/Creativecommons.org

3 comments:

Cait October 12, 2011 at 8:25 AM  

I found this article very interesting, especially since I went to the David Yepsen Forum on Oct. 6. This is a very good way to the 'Average Joe' to stay tuned in for the elections since all the political debates are happening. With this technology, I believe that people will start being more into politics and a public interest for the better good will rise again.

vanvolkinburg October 12, 2011 at 10:18 AM  

This content of this article does not differ too much from my most recent blog post about social networking. While I do agree with Cait, that there are several positives to a site such as this, I believe the negative effects are far more notible.

If the "Average Joe"--as others have classified non journalists--has the ability to 'analyze their own political stories,' where does that leave the actual journalist. Also, what is to stop the general public from disregarding all other news outlets as well. Who needs to stay objectively informed about current events and the news when one can simply create their own news?

Furthermore, as mentioned in other articles listed on this blog, if the average citizen wishes to fancy themself a political analyst, or any other analyst for that matter, what significance is left for those who are specialized in that field.

These sites are beneficial in getting the public involved in the workings of their communities and of issues concerning the nation; however, without adequate regulation, there may soon come a day when these sites undermine the necessity of a journalist or analyst.

kelleygray October 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM  

I think that this is a really cool idea, especially in politics. While this may not make the whole country more in tune with politics and the current events around them, it may make some more invested into what is going on. I think that for some people- specifically student and future journalists and those interested in politics- this could be a really cool thing. If journalists become involved in this new thing, they can help to be the driving force behind getting people involved in the world. It is definitely something that I would look into!

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