bw100 - 9:01 pm on Aug 27, 2011 (gmt 0)
I'm having some difficulty getting my head around the example (provided by Tedster, above), where Google employee Wysz critiques Benjy's website.
What Google employee Wysz begins his critique, and criticism, with,
First sentence from your site: “The Prince serenaded Leighton Meester during his concert at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night (Jan. 18).”
First sentence from Just Jared: “Leighton Meester gets serenaded by the legendary Prince during his sold-out concert at New York Ctiy’s Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night (January 18).”
Note these phrases: “serenaded,” “New York City’s Madison Square Garden,” “Tuesday night (Jan[uary] 18)”
Beyond the first sentence, note the similar order and structure:
1. Leighton was sitting in the front row.
2. Prince invited her to the stage.
3. “I Don’t Trust You Anymore” was playing
4. She was smiling and laughing/giggling
5. There were other celebrities there.
6. She’s wearing a cute sweater.
is fundamental formulaic reporting: the Five Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why (and also usually How). Any reporter who covered this concert, and wrote about the moment, would have identified the same facts, and probably utilized similar vocabulary and descriptive style.
Without regard to the merits of Benjy's specific website:
To suggest (which Wysz does) that the similarity of vocabulary and descriptive phrasing used by any of the journalists covering the event to describe Prince serenading Leighton Meester is at best a "stretch", definitely ludicrous and IMO patently misleading.
To apply this type of standard will mean that most of the thousands of journalists reporting the news would be guilty of spam.
Hitchhiking on the comment by jmccormac above
If Google was to apply some kind of automated detection routine, then they may end up nuking most of its news sites.
What's Google's new "rule": first reporter / publication to break the story is the only original author / source, and all others are spammers?