More Google News Settings

Barry Schwartz spotted some new options that let you personalize Google News. If you go to the Google News settings page, you can tweak Google News to show fewer press releases, more blog posts or even hide all the blog posts and press releases. “The neat part of the control of how you see blog and press release results is that there is a lever. You can pick from None to Fewer to Normal to More. Everyone by default is set to normal,” says Barry Schwartz.

You can also disable the automatic refresh of the Google News homepage. By default, Google reloads the page every 15 minutes.


I tried to hide all the blog posts and press releases, but this only worked for search results. Google News sections still included blog posts and press releases:

New Interface for Google News: No Clusters, No Clutter

Google News has a redesigned interface that tries to remove the visual clutter and make multimedia content more discoverable. All Google News clusters are collapsed by default, except for the top news story. Clusters include more links, a special section for images and videos, but you have to manually expand them.

“The newly expandable stories on Google News in the U.S., released today, give you greater story diversity with less clutter. Now you can easily see more content, see less of what you don’t use and have a more streamlined experience,” explains Google.


By default, Google uses the single column view, but you can switch to the two column view with the added benefit of going back to the old interface. Here’s the new interface:


… and the classic interface:

The redesigned UI shows a single news article instead of a group of related articles. Although the cluster is still available, it’s strange to see that Google hides one of the main features of Google News: grouping articles about the same topic. As Krishna Bharat, the founder of Google News, has recently said, the service “groups news articles by story, thus providing visual structure and giving users access to diverse perspectives from around the world in one place”.

Power users can try Google’s keyboard shortcuts (j/k for navigating to the next/previous story, o/u for expanding/collapsing a story), but most users will rarely expand stories and only click the main news article.

Most Shared Section in Google News

Google News has a new section that lists the most shared articles. It’s not clear if Google counts the number of people who used the sharing feature from Google News or tracks the references from Twitter and other social sites, but Google’s chart is not very reliable. When I started to write this post, the most popular news article was a story about Google’s Groupon acquisition that has been shared by 2,189 people.


15 minutes later, the most popular article was a NASA press release shared by 10,893 people.


{ Thanks, Cougar Abugado. }

Google News now More Customizable

After many months of testing, Google News redesigned the homepage and made it more customizable. One of the most important changes is that each group of related news has a topic (“Mobile industry”, “Toyota”, “Tropical storm Alex”) and you can easily subscribe to the topic.


Google News has a new section called “News for you” whose goal is to show news about your interests. You can add custom news topics, select how often you read news about each topic and choose if you want to see the news grouped in sections or as an uninterrupted stream.


If you like some news site or dislike news sources that provide biased or irrelevant news, you can now personalize Google News and list your preferences. Click on “Settings” at the top of the page, select “News settings” and start typing the sites you’d like to see more often or less often in Google News.

“Sources you promote or demote will be ranked differently for you (but not for anyone else) in your Google News search results and in the stories that you browse on the News homepage and other sections. Please keep in mind that demoted sources may not entirely disappear for you in Google News, and promoted sources may not appear in all of the stories you see,” mentions Google.


Each news cluster has a small menu that lets you share stories on social sites (Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, Google Reader) or by email.


Google News also added keyboard shortcuts that are available in other Google applications like Gmail and Google Reader: j or n (next story), k or p (previous story), / (search), s (star), . or f (share), Enter (open the headline article for the current story). Unfortunately, keyboard shortcuts are an afterthought, so you’ll find many flaws: after selecting the “Email” option, you need to use your mouse to click on the “To” field; after opening the main article of a story and going back to Google News, the story is no longer selected.

“The redesigned Google News homepage is rolling out today in the English-language edition in the U.S., and we plan to expand it to all editions in the coming months. We’re making the ability to choose which sources you’ll see more or less often available in all English-language editions worldwide and plan to expand it soon,” explains Google.

Google has a special page that provides more information about the new features and another page that shows you where are the old features and which features are new.

Google News is now more customizable and has a lot of features that should appeal to Google Reader users. You can’t subscribe to news sites, but you can subscribe to topics and list your favorite news sites. Google News lets you star and share each story, navigate using keyboard shortcuts and read news recommended for you. Google News has suddenly morphed from a news aggregator into a news reader, from a website to a web application.

{ Thanks, Sterling. }

Google News now redesigned to be more customizable and shareable

Google Today revamping the Google News homepage with several changes designed to make the news that you see more relevant to you. They also trying to better highlight interesting stories you didn’t know existed and to make it easier for you to share stories through social networks.

Before:

After:
The new heart of the homepage is something we call “News for you”: a stream of headlines automatically tailored to your interests. You can help us get it right by using the “Edit personalization” box to specify how much you’re interested in Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports or any subject you want to add (whether it’s the Supreme Court, the World Cup or synthetic biology). You can choose to view the stories by Section view or List view, and reveal more headlines by hovering over the headline with your mouse. We’ll remember your preferences each time you log in. If you don’t want customized Google News, hit “Reset personalization” to clear all personalization preferences. If you haven’t previously customized and would prefer not to, simply close the “Edit personalization” box. You can always go back and change it later.

To give you more control over the news that you see, we’re now allowing you to choose which news sources you’d like to see more or less often. You can do so in News Settings. These sources will rank higher or lower for you (but not for anyone else) in Google News search results and story clusters. We’ve also added keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation, like in Gmail or Google Reader. When you’re in Google News, hit the question mark key to pop up a full list of shortcuts.

There are the subjects that interest you and then there’s the major news of the day. To make it easy for you to find the big stories like Hurricane Alex, we’re adding links to topics that many outlets are covering. You’ll find these topics in the Top Stories section on the left side of the homepage as well as in linked keywords above headlines. Clicking on a topic link takes you to a list of related coverage that you can add to your news stream. You can change your preferences any time in “Edit personalization.”


We’re also more prominently displaying the Spotlight section, which features stories of more lasting interest than breaking news and has been one of our most popular sections since we introduced it last fall. And then there’s local news; we’re now highlighting weather and headlines about your city or neighborhood in their own section, which you can edit with whichever location you want to follow.

Finally, you can now easily share story clusters with other people via Buzz, Reader, Facebook or Twitter. Just select the drop-down menu marked by an arrow on the top-right of each story cluster. In the drop-down, you can also choose to see more or less of the first news source.


The redesigned Google News homepage is rolling out today in the English-language edition in the U.S., and we plan to expand it to all editions in the coming months. They’re making the ability to choose which sources you’ll see more or less often available in all English-language editions worldwide and plan to expand it soon. For more information about these changes, check out the video below or visit our Help Center.

Posted by Kevin Stolt

Google News: New web clipboard for Google Docs that improves copy and paste

This new clipboard temporarily stores items you’ve copied in the cloud, then allows you to paste them with proper formatting into documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Editions included:
Standard, Premier, Education, Team and Partner Editions

Languages included:
All languages supported by Google Docs

How to access what’s new:
While editing in Google Docs, select the item that you want to copy. Use the new clipboard menu to copy the item in question. Then, go to your other document, spreadsheet or presentation, and use the clipboard menu there to paste the item into the document.

Please note that while items in your web clipboard are available across browsers and across sessions, they do expire after a month.

For more information:
http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/02/web-clipboard-for-google-docs.html