Monday, May 30, 2005
Liveblogging from WEF:Krishna Bharat, Google News
At the WEF conference, and the sessions are starting: Krishna Bharat(Google News) and Dan Gillmor (Bayosphere) are the first speakers, with our own Andrew Nachison moderating a session with Joi Ito, Barry Sussman, and others. WEF leader Betrand Pequerie is introducing Krishna Bharat, who speaks first.
Krishna started Google News, which he created two years ago, and is currently finishing up the establishment of an Indian office for Google in Bangalore. He's explaining Google's desire to organize the world's information, and their desire to be the information intermediary for users and says that Google News is basically that information applied to news. 'We're very keen for everyone to participate in all our projects,' says Bharat, "And we certainly want that to be true of news."
Two years ago, he wrote a program for himself that crawled and aggregated news; that project was the basis for Google News.
Bharat shows clips from Google that brings related stories together; he talks a bit about the clustering technology that groups stories, the crawler, and related links/terms. He explains there are algorithms that help to prioritize stories, and others that map a story to particular categories. He also talks about filtering technologies--how Google News can decide what a story is actually about, and what editions the story is slotted for.
The first version launched in Dec 2001; most recent upgrade was March 2005's customized news upgrades.
The attributes Bharat values include publishing multiple viewpoints from multiple sources, an objectivity that a local editor might lack (he says), and efficent ways to manage news flow via alerts, personalization and of course, clustering.
"I see us as an integral part of the news community, says Bharat. "We bring value to the news community, and our clustering removes the intertia that people have in going from one news site to another.
"Our relationship with newspapers is symbiotic; we sent traffic directly to the content provider and we do not have special relationships, and we amplify the amount of news being read."
"I am hoping, he says,|" to have all newspapers participate with Google News; for our readers we want an interesting debate that makes them think."
The audience is listening intently, and yet there are whispers in the corners that make me wonder if this is familiar information--or exotic jargon--to them.
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