In February of this year, Google announced plans to open-source its Living Stories code, offering the program for development for news sources and blogs worldwide. Though there hasn't since been a large influx of news organizations using the Living Stories software, Google announced last Thursday that it has developed a plugin for WordPress-based blogs and websites, a move that will likely open up the tool for use in a wide array of news sites.
Living Stories allows publishers to gather all their reporting on one topic under a single URL, so that readers can follow a story as it develops. In previous manifestations of the Living Stories project, the top of the screen offers a summary of the history of the topic, the left side offers a toolbar of filters, the right side offers a timeline of events pertaining to the topic, and the center showcases articles pulled from news outlets and blogs across the web.
The Living Stories system logs what posts readers have read and offers returning users new posts based on this information. Google previously launched the project in conjunction with the Washington Post and the New York Times, and 75 percent of users who gave feedback to the site said they preferred this form of exploring the news to traditional news websites.
But Google's foray into news aggregation has brought it some controversy, as many news executives--most notably News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch--don't appreciate what they see as Google's unlawful usage of their content for free. Though the Living Stories project could provide a useful new way for newspapers to organize their content, it does not look as though anyone has yet implemented the plugin for Wordpress, and the aggregation aspect may become more controversial in months to come.
Source: Google Blog