The latest enhancement to the Google Alerts product -- to include news-oriented videos
on topics that readers select -- is a compelling upgrade for information junkies, online videophiles, or those researching information on the Internet. It raises many questions on the future of information access, the future role of online video as an information source, and Google's strategic directions.The news industry has been quick to find fault with Google's handling of information and sources on the popular Google News site. But no one's stopping news sites from aggregating and aggressively distributing content, and that includes video. Could this just be another case of Google beating the news industry -- online and offline -- at its own game? My take: Yes, advantage Google. If they offer video news alerts, I can't find them on prominent TV news sites including CNN
and Fox News Channel.
Brands and sites like these should be leading the charge in the distribution of video content.
Does this affect traditional (i.e., non-video) online news content -- that is, does more readily available video make news and feature articles more or less meaningful, or does it not affect your use of traditional news sources? Will online video one day be a trusted source of news, assuming a place alongside TV broadcast news? One clear advantage to Google's approach: It lets the consumer or reader see only the news videos of their choice, on their schedule, and that's a huge leg up over sitting through a 30-minute evening newscast.
Is this a news source in a format that can deliver valuable IT or consumer tech information? You may correctly deduce this query is a bit self serving -- if you want certain type of video content, we'd like to know about it. What types of video feeds -- on which topics -- would be of value to you, regardless of whether they came to you from Google Alerts or InformationWeek?