As the de facto aggregator and home of what is news in the digital age, Google News plays an integral role in publicly determining the biggest news of the day, hour and minute. For publicists, marketers and brands, it’s also a public viewing area for observing and measuring brand mentions, message penetration, etc. For most stories, a Google News’ alert is the first sign that a piece has gone live.
Those alerts and the homepage layout got a little more personal today, with Google launching “News for You.” News for You allows you to filter and dictate the stream of news headlines you see, based on your interests. Think of it as your Facebook stream and the ability Facebook gives you to tailor the “status updates” and posts you receive from friends. To improve the personalization of the news stream Google is providing an “Edit personalization” box, which allows you to specify your interest in different news categories — Business, Health, Entertainment, Sci-Tech, etc.
In addition to those personalization features, Google is also adding functionality today to share story clusters with other people via email, Buzz, Google Reader, Facebook and Twitter. These news clusters are common around big news and of course product launches, and gives you the ability to quickly see different headlines and views on the same story (like techmeme). After a few years of copying and pasting these news clusters in sharing with colleagues and clients, the addition is music to my ears. To do so today, you can simply select the drop-down menu marked by an arrow on the top-right of each story cluster.