Lot's of chatter today around Google's new feature that will allow only 'the people in the news article' to add comments to articles that are aggregated in Google News. Here are two examples that the Google Blogoscoped blog pointed out.
When i saw it this morning i thought it was an interesting use of social media and still believe so-but as i think about it and read a bit further about exactly how it will work there certainly seems to be some potential issues. Things like what Gabe Rivera left as a comment on TechCrunch that Google doesn't allow other aggregators to crawl their site although now they are now hosting original content and probably should. Since Google gets its content by aggregating across thousands of online news sites and there is constant battles about the right to do that- they should probably open up this orginal content back- but who knows maybe the content will be useless in the long run?
i think that it is interesting that Google is going to try to be some sort of 'editor' of the global online news. Thinking about traditional media there are usually two types of ways that someone 'associated' with the article can respond and let the audience hear their voice. The first is to contact the media outlet and request a correction or clarification. I tend to browse these section of the papers and there always seems to be something that needs correction sometimes important information. The second is to write a letter to the editor. Both of these however become physically separated from the original source- either printed in the next day publication (for newspapers but could be months for other types of publications) and essentially the editor of that publication who is ultimately responsible for what they printed has the last word on what they choose to publish on behalf of the person responding.
So will it be scalable - and will Google have to open it up to let the original sources get to that content? Either way- kudos to Google for pushing the envelope and looking a user generated content differently then what other news sites are doing.