Utilizing Google’s News Lab

After consuming a good ammount of information on Google’s New Lab, It has made me realize how corrupt Facebook is. Facebook and Google are very much the same in a sense that they are the largest platforms for their respected functions, Facebook being a social media giant, and Google being the most used search engine on the web. Where they differ is what they do with the data they collect from all their users.

Facebook has been caught selling the data they collect, whereas users of Google’s smaller services like Youtube actually benefit from the mass amount of data they collect. The data that Google collects, they use to personalize your Youtube experience. Your Youtube experience is enhanced because of their search engine algorithm.

Youtube’s algorithm has two basic goals, “One, help each viewer find the videos that they want to watch. And two, get viewers to keep watching what they like”.

Youtube even has helpful functions for Journalists. The easy to use search tool helps you to pinpoint the exact types of videos you want to see based on date, duration, file size and resolution to name a few. These filters can be applied to the keywords you base your search on and can help shave time off searching for footage you might need for a story. The best part about Youtube that I learned through Google’s News Lab is that Youtube does not own the rights to the videos published on their sight, rather the Youtuber does. This makes pulling clips for a story much easier and more efficient because you get to deal with a person directly rather than Youtube as a whole.

Both Youtubers who are either passionate about what they do, and share it for the public to see, or even people who are aware of the lucrative benefits of running a successful youtube page, above all, post regular content. Through Google’s News Lab I took a lesson on everything Youtube related, and it presented me with a lot of useful information but also a lot of obvious and redundant information. It is redundant for me, because I am studying social media and have heard a lot about how to draw and hold viewers attention. Things like presenting quality titles, descriptions, and thumbnails are a thing of the past. I am more interested in what Youtube has to offer as far as promotion, advertising and utilization of anylitics.

Promoting yourself on Youtube does not require you to pay for ads, it is available to you by simply adding “cards” to the end of your videos. These cards can bring viewers to your other videos, playlists and websites instantaneously. You can also interact with viewers by using polls.

Here is a good example of proper usage of cards. With plenty of time left in the video you get quick-links to other videos from the site(right) and a link to their main website(bottom left) where viewers can subscribe to NFL Game Pass.

Although every Youtuber is eligeable for advertising, not all videos are. They must meet guidlines that are pretty standard, regarding obscenities, offensive material and things of that nature. But what stuck out to me was that videos who discuss controversial topics or current event tragedies, wheather they are from legitimate sources or not, are ineligible for advertising. This is large in part because advertisers don’t want their products associated with these events or issues even if they dont show graphic content. This is hard to believe because these kinds of posts usually get a lot of attention.

Methods of generating income on youtube come from sponsored posts and crowdfunding. What bothers me about things like crowdfunding is that they’re like go fund me pages for aspiring artists. There are people in real desperate need all over the globe yet some people chose to donate to struggling Youtubers. Is there any content on Youtube that is gripping, compelling, and consistent enough to be paid for? If so I have yet to see it. Youtube is a large enough platform where the Patreon tool can be more than helpful to a deserving cause. It could be used as a way to crowd fund charities and disaster relief rather than some of Youtube’s struggling accounts.

Youtube is a great tool for journalists in many aspects. It contributes to the content you provide by allowing you to interact with other Youtubers. But most importantly- for journalists outside the newsroom- it is an amazing tool for self promotion. Wheather you have a business, a persona, or anything shareable for that matter, Youtube is the place to expand your following.

Expanding your following is great and all but if you dont provide regular or unique content, it wont mean anything. And this goes for all aspects of entrepreneurship, worry about what it is that you supply before you go out in search of a demand.

For us as journalists, what we have to supply is unbiased, verified information. So before we begin promotional content and looking for advertising, we must create content people will trust and enjoy.

With Google’s precise search engine, being a journalist has become a bit more convenient. In the Google Search lesson, they stress verification as an important tool in Google’s News Lab. Not only does the News Lab provide insight on how to navigate their advanced search options but they provide helpful tips on how to verify sources.

This technique seems quite simple but did you ever think about trying it? I sure as hell didn't.

Through the advanced search tool it is now more conveinet to cross reference articles to verify sources.

In a journalists career, there will be times where there is no better way to present data than with cold hard facts, in numerical form. Not only does Google’s Public Data Explorer tool provide you with easy to interpret data, it helps you organize and compile your own data. This is highly important to investigative journalism because rather than relying on datasets and metrics to speak to you about trends and direct correlations between events, you can find and follow them yourself.

All of these tools can be taken and applied to one tool Google offers that can alter your position as a journalists for better. Through Youtube, you can build your audience and promote yourself. With the Google Search and Public Data Explorer tools, you can further develop and create better articles/stories. But with the Google News tool, you can a gain reputable followers, and become a credible source as an individual.

To be accepted into Google News you must provide timely, regular and original reporting.

It is not evryone that gets accepted for inclusion but if you do qualify, the rewards are bountiful. Google News has a plethora of sites ranging from niche blogs to large publications of entire metropolitan areas.