Google Open Sources "Living Stories" Concept

Feb 18, 2010 - 8:18 am 0 by
Filed Under Misc Google

Google is open sourcing the Living Stories news article concept at Google Code. What is a living story? Well, instead of writing an article for each new event that happens on a certain topic, you update an existing story with the latest information. If you think about it, there are tons of articles out there on the web, that are stale, outdated and often useless. Having a single, constantly updated story, makes more sense, at least for web consumption - according to Google.

Google ran this experiment with some papers and decided to make it available to all. First, here is a video explaining it:

They are even incorporating it more in the new Google News design.

Fred from Google wrote in the Google News Help thread about it. He said:

The Living Stories project was originally the result of a one-time collaboration between Google, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Our goal was to innovate on existing presentations of journalism that take greater advantage of technological capabilities on the Web.

The general response was excellent. Since we launched this proof-of-concept test on Google Labs in December, 75% of people who filled out our feedback form said they preferred the Living Stories format to the traditional online news article. Users also spent a significant amount of time exploring stories. That tells us that there's a strong appetite for great journalism displayed in a compelling way.

In addition to the positive input from users, we've also heard from publishers interested in telling their own stories through the format. That's why we released Living Stories to the public to see what you can do with it. In February 2010, we open-sourced the code so all developers can build their own Living Story pages. (You can also use this Help Forum to ask and answer general support questions.) In coming months we're going to look into creating software tools that make Living Stories even easier to use for news organizations. Until then, we can't wait to see what fascinating works of journalism developers, reporters and editors, working together, create using the open-sourced Living Stories code.

You can get the Living Stories code here:

Forum discussion at Google News Help.


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