Google is the Death Star (it’s cool and it could kill us)

Google is anti-journalism.

Jake Parrillo, who covers the Midwest (which means Pittsburg to Denver) for Google, tried to convince a room full of journalists otherwise.

It first struck me as odd that an organization whose purpose is mostly as an aggregator site is wooing and sweet talking the best journalism school in the world.  We are the reporters who create the content that Google uses to make billions.  I haven’t received a check from Google yet.

And I don’t want Google to take over the world, but they are doing some groundbreaking work.

“We’re only as good as the content on the web,” Parrillo concluded.  That eased my mind slightly, as did the effort he made to show how Google is transparent with their privacy settings.  Gee, I didn’t notice any Facebook reps in the room taking notes.

So maybe the beast search engine/creator of fantastic online tools is not going to kill us.  I still have my telescope handy, though.  And now, for Parrillo’s tips and tricks and downright cool Google stuff.

Public Data Explorer. Wow.  Visuals for stories in charts, maps and graphs of data that you knew was out there but never really used.

Trends/Insights for search. Very cool.  “What’s happening offline is reflected online in searches.”  Break down search terms by city, region, time period.

• YouTube.  More fun and practical than journalistically applicable, but add the following to skip time in video.  #t=1m10s to go to the frame at 1:10 into a video.

• Similar images.  Good for finding a non-licensed version of Cape Hatteras light house at dusk.

• Negative operators.  Use “paris -hilton” for the City of Light.

• In-site searching.  site:(url here)

• Google Scholar.  Yes, you know it, but use it for case law too.

• Languages.  It is possible to return pages written in nearly any language (85 percent of the content on the web), and have Google translate them into English.

• Google Earth.  Pull up historical imagery to show how geographical locations have changed, or pull up street view to let readers see that famous house that burned down.

• Google Alerts.  Privacy is big, so make sure you know when somebody publishes something with your name on it.  Also good for following beats.

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One Response to Google is the Death Star (it’s cool and it could kill us)

  1. Pingback: By: | It's the soup…

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