Tony Hung of Deep Jive Interests has a post up about Google News and its commenting feature, in which the service reaches out to individuals who are involved in news stories and allows them to post comments — or in some cases, apparently, takes their blog posts and publishes them as comments. The case Tony refers to is one in which Mick O’Leary of Information Today wrote about Citizendium, the Wikipedia competitor that Larry Sanger (a co-founder of Wikipedia) started last year.
O’Leary wrote a piece about Citizendium and how it is failing to keep up with Wikipedia, and is in fact “almost useless” for a number of reasons, mostly because there isn’t enough material in the entries he checked. Sanger’s comment on the Google News entry is essentially a shortened and edited version of the blog post Sanger wrote in response to the original story, in which he took the writer to task for not calling him.
Like Tony, I think that Google’s comment feature is a fascinating one, and I wish that it was used more often (there are some recent examples here). As Tony suggests, it’s a feature that can come in very handy for “new media orphans” — although I would argue that Sanger isn’t really an example of an orphan, since he was more than capable of responding on his blog. At the same time, however, while the Information Today piece would show up in Google News, Sanger’s blog response wouldn’t.