Think locally, act Googley

Google has announced that they plan to provide news by geography.
So far, what I’ve seen doesn’t work very well. For example, Google only seems to find the zips that are actually in the text of the story and doesn’t seem to reflect any actual geocoding on the part of the news organization. However, this is a clear signal to everyone in the news business to get their metadata in order.
All stories (or at least their database entries) should include all relevant location information, including all government districts, zip codes, latitude/longitude, etc. Publishers should begin the process of setting up their systems so that they can deliver this metadata with the story.
This leads me to two other big trends affecting the news business in 2008.
First, content producers should begin thinking of their content and systems as platforms for new applications. They will need to create new kinds of products and services on those platforms and open themselves up so that intermediaries like Google News can bring them into contact with new audiences.
Second, local content producers must now recognize that Google’s main search bar (not is now a big player in their local market and that their customers are already adding zip codes to their Google searches. They must have a strategy for dealing with the coming impact of Google in their markets.
I’ve got two reports in production on these trends already, and I will continue to explore them in 2008.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.