OJR interviews Krishna Bharat. Some excerpts:
There’s a whole field of study called “information retrieval,” which deals with text analysis — trying to find which documents match the query, which documents match other documents. So I drew on a lot of technical work that I knew of in order to make this happen. I had to bring in a lot of intuition specific to the news domain to try to bring in diverse articles.
The nice thing about research is until you actually make a product, you just want to find out if it works. In the long run, the issue of rights had to be addressed. In a sense, it was a no-brainer because what we do fundamentally at Google is we take people to the content — and this is another way to take people to the content. We don’t manufacture content. We don’t substitute our content for theirs.
We want to create a newspaper that’s suitable for everyone. Personalization is a much grander challenge.
Google News is one of those ideas I wish I had done after Samachar.