Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Media Google News

Google's New Meta-Tags For News Story Authors 71

Posted by timothy
from the tree-of-attribution dept.
EreIamJH writes "Google News is experimenting with meta-tags in an effort to ensure that the correct news source is credited with an article. The original-source meta-tag will identify the newspaper that breaks a story, while syndication-source is for everyone who repeats the story. Both meta-tags can appear multiple times — for instance an article that sources information from other articles would include an original-source tag for each article used in preparing the new article. While the intention is worthy, I look forward to lots of snarky blogger fights as journalists vent their hurt feelings for having been omitted as an original source."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google's New Meta-Tags For News Story Authors

Comments Filter:
  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voidptr (609) on Friday November 26, 2010 @11:36PM (#34355670) Homepage Journal

    Is there also a tag for the news source that properly edits it? The one, for example, that knows the difference between "brakes" and "breaks"?

    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 26, 2010 @11:45PM (#34355720)

      Is there also a tag for the news source that properly edits it? The one, for example, that knows the difference between "brakes" and "breaks"?

      Then there is the difference between "is credit with" and "is credited with". I wish Slashdot "editors" would call themselves Slashdot "reposters" or Slashdot "janitors", then I'd stop expecting them to grok basic grammar.

    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Funny)

      by vrmlguy (120854) <`samwyse' `at' `gmail.com'> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @12:03AM (#34355822) Homepage Journal

      I break for braking news.

      • I wonder if it's possible to break this branch, braking the grammar stooging components to consider metatagging sources.

        Truthy.Indiana.Edu has some fun looking at memes... it'll be fun to see how info/news gets spread around. Leader or follower? Or do we care?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      Is there also a tag for the news source that properly edits it? The one, for example, that knows the difference between "brakes" and "breaks"?

      The summary was correct.
      Google has a tag for newspapers that obey UK Defence Advisory Notices [thinq.co.uk] which put the brakes on a story.

    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bidule (173941) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:06AM (#34356090) Homepage

      English is a spoken language. There's no latin declension or other complications that forces you to think before you talk. Sadly, written English is a different dialect that many natives fail to master.

      Whatever they write made sense to them because they read it back aloud. When you truly master reading, you never hear the words but directly capture their meaning from the shape of the letters. The effect of these misspellings are the same as a terrible foreign accent to the literate reader.

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:32AM (#34356374)

        The effect of these misspellings is the same as a terrible foreign accent to the literate reader.

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          What, you mean trivial to the point of inconsequentiality?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Yvanhoe (564877)
          The effect of another discussion about grammar errors on /. stories is the same as a loud vuvuzella to the person who comes here only for raw information.
          • who comes here only for raw information

            And when was the last time you found any here? The summaries are generally horrifically written to the point of confusion, basic grammar is lacking, and they're generally wildly inaccurate and point to secondary and tertiary sources rather than the readily available primary sources. The comments are generally more people trying to be funny than informative, as the number of knowledgeable people dwindle. That leaves us with people complaining about stuff like grammar, and people complaining about them. Neith

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Yvanhoe (564877)
              That's my point : information is usually inside the comments. So when such a discussion occurs in the most moderated comment, it is a really annoying interference.
              • And my points were that a) there wouldn't be this discussion if there were functional editors, leading to more of the content we're looking for both in the comments and in the summary. b) you aren't helping the signal-to-noise ratio by posting comments complaining. Best you can do is meta-mod.
        • by bidule (173941)

          The effect of these misspellings is the same as a terrible foreign accent to the literate reader.

          Lol, thx. This is what happens when you rearrange your sentences a few times.

      • Lack of practice (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        English is my second language and while I do a lot of errors, they're different than the ones that natives do. My errors tend to be odd sentences (the structures used in English are very different than those used in my first language), odd expressions (Do I complete a quest or do I make a quest? Do I do an error or do I make an error? Or do I, perhaps, err? In my first language there isn't any difference so it's easy to make[?] those errors in English) and the like. However, I don't do errors such as break/

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rvw (755107)

          English is my second language and while I do a lot of errors, they're different than the ones that natives do. My errors tend to be odd sentences (the structures used in English are very different than those used in my first language), odd expressions (Do I complete a quest or do I make a quest? Do I do an error or do I make an error? Or do I, perhaps, err? In my first language there isn't any difference so it's easy to make[?] those errors in English) and the like. However, I don't do errors such as break/brake, their/there, your/you're, it's/its (I do have some difficulties in remembering wierd/weird, though)... I think that there is a simple reason for this: I've had to study this stuff. I've had to study that You are can be shortened to You're and I am can be shortened to I'm. It would never cross my mind to mix You're and Your any more than I would mix I'm with in. I just don't see why I would ever do that.

          I would. I see these errors in my first language (Dutch - e.g. "eens" or "'ns" becomes "is" what you see mostly by younger people), so this could be a universal type of language error. "You're" and "your" are pronounced the same, and many people mess this up. The last ten years I've become more and more aware of this, as I've joined many online forums, where many people don't have the grammar and spelling level that I was used to (from news papers, magazines, books etc). At first I found it very annoying, a

          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            It's definitely A LOT harder for me (non native english speaker) to understand sentences written with weird grammar. Maybe I write with weird grammar too, my problem is that I have no practice writing and always think about my first language's grammar. Then I make a strange mix of my other language's grammar with english and my sentences become strange... Nevertheless, I agree with the "Lack of practice" post. On a side note, one of my professors went to India once and couldn't understand a word of what ind

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mrsquid0 (1335303)

        It always makes my day when a grammar troll gets basic grammar wrong.

    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      Is there also a tag for the news source that properly edits it?

      Where have all the true grammar NAZIs gone?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Tumbleweed (3706)

        Where have all the true grammar NAZIs gone?

        They're hiding out in South America.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Arancaytar (966377)

      According to the reliable source "shit I made up", the printing press has to be slowed down periodically to avoid overheating; hence "braking" a story. No idea why this term carried over into digital media. :P

    • Yes, really. (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by RichiH (749257)

      I wanted to write the same, but I will make sure you are credit with being first. Also, I look forward to even the most minimal editing on /.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dissy (172727)

      Hey it passed the spell checker, I think you're expecting a bit much from slashdot editors ;}

      I mean at least he linked to the original source [google.com] instead of some blog [blogspot.com]... oh wait.

      Well, at least they didn't attribute credit for the idea to Apple, while claiming Microsoft was granted a patent on it! That's gotta count for something right?

      </sarcastic>

  • Used in a sentence: "When Timothy breaks the rules of English, it makes me not want to brake when he is in front of my car."

    j/k - I mean you no harm.

  • A newspaper "breaks" a story, not "brakes" it. Unless you mean the news comes to a screeching halt.
  • "The original-source meta-tag will identify the newspaper that brakes a story"... So they want to slow down the distribution of original source stories?
  • Where's the RDFa? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TwistedPants (847858)
    One google team is pushing it; but these guys have missed a chance to implement it properly by only the barest of margins. RDFa would be a perfect solution for this.
    • by spage (73271) <{moc.egapreiks} {ta} {egaps}> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:58AM (#34356278)

      RDFa is still around, there are a few sites that still use it, but my Firefox add-ons that would pull semantic data .from RDFa statements embedded in HTML are obsolete and gathering dust. Instead a lot of people put microformats [microformats.org] into their HTML, especially hCard, because it's more HTML-like and less verbose. Google's Rich Snippets [blogspot.com] (starred reviews, etc.) will parse either form of structured data markup, but supposedly 94% of the info they parse is in microformat not RDFa. HTML5/WHATWG has a concept called microdata [w3.org] that seems to allow indicating the scope of microformat information, AIUI using new itemscope and itemprop attributes rather than overloading class attributes. But that seems to have no support for RDFa.

      Google could parse a lot more structured data so we could tell them what the hell our web pages are about. I'm convinced the reason they don't do this is the most diligent users of ANY and ALL such techniques will be spammers and SEO bastards. This comment is really is about person:Angelina Jolie body_part:breasts last_updated:today!, despite all its links to cheap inkjet cartridges and online betting.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by TwistedPants (847858)
        I suppose what I'm frustrated by the most here is that an engineer behind the google news aggregation platform hasn't even look at what other ways to solve this problem are out there.

        The link/@rel pattern fits this problem much better than a meta tag at the very least.

        If you want to go a bit further; there are some fairly core vocabularies out there (DublinCore/PRISM) which describe a lot of what a document is and who authored it without much effort; and undoubtedly "googlenews:syndication-source" and "
        • by Graymalkin (13732)

          I think Google is interested in the meta tag approach because it's a dead simple thing to add to a CMS. RDF and it's microdata cousins are much harder to shoehorn into existing CMSes and require a lot more effort on the part of the copy writer to add to an entry.

        • Yeah, I agree. It's as if people are so eager to invent something, that they won't even bother trying to be compatible with what is already out there. They almost proactively try to avoid using what is already out there.

      • by sempir (1916194)

        I RDFa (read da fuckin article) but could find no microdata to microformat. Did i miss sumpin?

  • by reboot246 (623534)
    we get it going again.

    I hate slow news!
  • You guys can... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frozentier (1542099) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @12:06AM (#34355832)
    You guys can argue about "brake" and "break", I'm just trying to figure out WTF "snarky" means, and why anyone wanting to sound credible would even use it.
    • Snarky [wiktionary.org]

      snark + -y; 1906, as “irritable”, from 1866 snark (“to snort”)

  • If even a small subset of the replica posts link upstream, there's a good chance Google can put Humpty back together again. It'll be hugely abused, but it won't matter a whit.

  • by fermion (181285) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @01:41AM (#34356212) Homepage Journal
    Recall that Google rose to power by not using the meta-tags to determine content, or importance, or any attributes. Alta Vista did do this, and fell because it was easy to spoof a meta-tag. By using graph theory they were able to make a search engine that was much more resilient to attacks.

    I am not saying that there is clear case for profit via spoofing these tags, just that if there ever is profit to gain by rigging the tags, Google will be in no position to stop it. Therefore this move can be seen only as a method for Google to defend against those that says it profits from serving copyrighted content with a license. I do not see this as a problem other, except that it seem to a lot of work implementing something that probably solves nothing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrxak (727974)

      While I don't entirely agree with you that Alta Vista fell because of meta tags (at least, not alone), meta tags are indeed fairly easy to spoof. Obviously anybody can claim they are the original source. Obviously anybody can just ignore these tags entirely.

      One can hope that Google will do at least some extra checking as well. As they say in TFA, Google will be looking at how these are used in the wild before they make any big changes in how they display their news.

    • by openfrog (897716)

      I am not saying that there is clear case for profit via spoofing these tags, just that if there ever is profit to gain by rigging the tags, Google will be in no position to stop it. Therefore this move can be seen only as a method for Google to defend against those that says it profits from serving copyrighted content with a license.

      You say "if" and you proceed without demonstration to your conclusion. Please demonstrate that there is a profit to be made in spoofing the tag, and I will then consider the validity of your conclusion that Google is doing this just for the show.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The publisher pays the author for his work written, not by "street cred" of how many times his article is copied. Personally, I don't care if bloggers reference, "analyze," or dissect it for inaccuracies or bias, but when a blogger paste the whole article verbatim without *compensation* (or worse, gets paid through ad revenue), that's what get writers pissed off. It's simply theft; knock-off; copyright infringement.

    We're not crying because our name is not being attributed. We're crying for the same reason a

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I don't think google is looking to give authors credit per se. Who the actual author is and whether he gets famous or receives money from being quoted/copied is frankly irrelevant.

      What matters to search engines is if a particular story is "popular", because popularity means that a random web surfer is statistically likely to want to hear about it.

      The technical problem is how to compare two stories which have obviously similar content, because otherwise the popularity counts could be off. That's not triv

      • by mrxak (727974)

        My first thought of course was this would simply stop duplicate stories from being at the top of the page, but I think you're right, this won't just bring different articles towards the first page of results, it will ensure that "better" articles are in their rightful place, by pooling together the popularity of identical articles, and using that as the basis for page rank (presumably for whichever was the original source).

        I'm sure a lot of news companies who want to share articles because it's a cheap way

  • by notsoclever (748131) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:16AM (#34356336) Journal
    Whatever happened to the already-existing "cite" element and attribute that have been a standard part of HTML for years?
    • by e9th (652576)
      Citations are references to other sources. These elements suggest to others how the work itself should be cited.
  • by S77IM (1371931) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:24AM (#34356500)

    News sites are suddenly going to get really diligent about citing sources? What would motivate them to do that, when they can't get basic facts straight or use a fucking grammar checker? I thought Cory Doctorow laid it out pretty clearly in Metacrap [well.com].

      -- 77IM

    • by mrxak (727974)

      Hehe, your link is funny. It's about metadata being bad, but then it clearly says Google does metadata right towards the bottom.

      Clearly there's little incentive for news sites to actually use this meta tag. I think it's obvious why a lot of sites will quietly ignore it and of course others will try to exploit it. Still, Google is usually pretty smart about figuring out how to use metadata. I'm going to wait and see what they do with it before I condemn it.

    • Google could lower ranks of pages that do not conform to their standards. And they could penalize people that get the citations wrong.
  • by mattr (78516) <.mattr. .at. .telebody.com.> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:31AM (#34356514) Homepage Journal

    By tagging as first source, the publisher implicitly allows inclusion in a news search application. Using Google's tag means allowing specificially Google. Other news companies may not be in as good a position.
    Google is also then free to copy text from any other source running the same story since the first source allows it.
    Google no longer needs to try figure out which source was first.
    And, Google now becomes non-evil and a champion for being precise about authorship, which reflects on its academic search application.
    And, it makes it easy for Google to target independent journalists to hire in some way in the future. Perhaps it will start that project in Australia if Murdoch really gets them steamed.

  • "Google News is experimenting with meta-tags in an effort to ensure that the correct news source is credit with an article."
    Someone set us up the Googlebomb?

The first version always gets thrown away.

Working...