The Google battle

In the Multimedia journalism module, we were asked to sign up to both Google Reader and Google News and see if we like them compared to our normal online news services and compared to each other.

Firstly I want to compare them to each other directly. In terms of useability, they were both reasonably easy to use, but I think that the interface of Google News makes it much easier to use than Reader. The more simplistic layout makes it much easier than the list that you get when you use Reader. Reader’s style of subscription is very clever for tailoring the news you wish to receive, compared to News which gives an overview of all genres of news, with your personal favourite categories featuring highest on the personalised news page. However, Google Reader is very good at pinning down all of the websites you regularly visit, placing all of their content onto the one page. Very useful for all of your favourite sites information, in very quick time. But for me, Google News just edges it.

Comparing the two sites to my previous online news resources doesn’t bode as well for Google I’m afraid. Google News is still not as up to date or effective as the BBC news website, which may not be personalised, but has always been easy to use. And as for Google Reader… I just don’t like the layout and don’t think it is very useable. I can see potential in the idea, but it’s just not for me.

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