Google just announced a cool addition to Google News. If you search for a person’s name on Google News, you can see statements where that person has been quoted by a news source. For example, search on Google News for [Arnold Schwarzenegger] and you’ll see
It’s like how smart the feature is. It can correctly handle hard cases like “she said” or “he said” quite well. Note that the mention of “True Lies” in the first quote didn’t throw it off, even though it was in quotes too. Once you’re looking at the news quotes of a person, you can also search within their quotes. So you could see what Arnold had to say about California’s hands-free cellphone law by searching his quotes for [cellphone].
I like that Google is doing this for a couple reasons. First, it’s an additional way to slice and dice news information that wasn’t really available before. In that sense, it reminds me of taking geographic mentions in books and plotting that data on a map of the world or over time. There’s no way to do that scale of research or analysis by hand.
The other reason that I like this feature is that it fits in with a basic Google philosophy, which is “you enter whatever interests you in the search box, and we’ll try to do something smart to help.” I really like that we have features like a smart calculator. Or that you can type in [whois example.com] and we’ll give you some information about the domain. Or that you can type in an airline flight like [aa 125] and get up-to-the-minute flight status. Users don’t have to do anything special, but we work hard to show something helpful for each search.