While this functionality may have been around for a while, I just came across the ability to customize and personalize your Google News page. With a couple of simple clicks, drags and drops, you too can have your own online newspaper right on your screen.
If you thought newspapers and their online presences were going through hard times as of late, you should head over to Google News and personalize that page. Once you are logged into Google via any of your existing tools (Gmail, Google Reader, etc...), you will notice on the Google News page in the top right right corner, Edit this personalized page. From there you can move the predetermined and standard news sections (World news, Business, Sci/Tech, Entertainment, etc...) around into your own order of preference, but then you can add a whole bunch on content including:
- Local section. By adding in the name of the city, country or postal code, Google News will pull the news from that area.
- Custom section. Much like Google Alerts, you can select keywords and Google News will create a section based on your choices.
- Recommended Section. Based on what you have already chosen and the ranking of your content on the page, Google News will recommend other news items that might be of interest to you. This is very powerful in terms of serendipity and exposing you to news you might not have otherwise seen if you were only following information you have selected.
From the Google News Page, you can also subscribe via RSS, create more Google Alerts, look at a mobile version and more. You can even search through the news archive, do an advanced news search along with a Blog search.
It's hard to imagine why anyone would not make a personalized Google News page one of their home tabs in their own web browser. Upon customizing my own Google News page, it reminded me of how much different Twitter was before Tweetdeck. Before, Google News was great, but it was like looking through a straw. Now, with Google News personalized pages, it's like having the NORAD wall of screens at your fingertips.
If you're using Google News personalized or use other similar tools or sites, please do share your experiences, tips, tricks and hacks.