Creating a Community
Google are dipping their toes into the world of local news with Google Bulletin. Bulletin is a way of communicating local news on a wider scale. The idea is similar to when someone posts on their Facebook wall that Main Street is gridlocked. Except instead of posting it to your friends, then it potentially going ‘viral’ in the local area, Google Bulletin will share it automatically with people in your vicinity, whether they know you or not.
Google Bulletin – Pin it Up
So far Google has launched Bulletin in limited locations. Nashville, Tennessee and Oakland California are the first communities to be testing out the application. Google Bulletin allows you to share photos, videos and post text content on things that have happened in your local area.
Anyone from Businesses, to Schools, or individual citizens will be able to share their local based content on the tool. The idea is simple; the internet is very big. Sharing local news on the internet, to a targeted audience is tough. Google Bulletin aims to make that simpler. For example, if there’s a heavy snow and you want to know which roads to take, and if the schools are shut, Bulletin can be your one-stop shop to find that out.
At the moment it is in its early beta, so if, or when, Google Bulletin is rolled out to the nation we may see some changes. As Google well knows, joining the social media world isn’t easy. Google+ is their dust-covered memento of their last serious attempt to join the social world. So only time will tell if Bulletin becomes a success or not. But initial signs show that there is a demand for ‘local social’ as Facebook are currently trialing a new way of sourcing local news and community information. With something they are calling “Today In”.
Social Media isn’t Static
While many will pull a face when they hear that Google is trying to ‘do social’ again, figures have just been released showing a drop in Facebook usage in North America for the first time. While it isn’t time to perform the last rites on Facebook, it does show that their hegemony can be challenged. The question is, is Google the ones to be doing it?