This guy Bruce Tognazzini (Tog), really doesn’t like the recent changes to Google news.
The team involved appears unwilling or unable to just come clean with the fact that they screwed up completely, and, instead, are just chipping away at one individual screw-up after the other. It’s as though they replaced their gazelle with a pig and are now carving away at the pig, desperate to make it at least look like a gazelle. So far the result, unfortunately, it does not look (or feel) like a gazelle at all, but only like a distressed and wounded pig.
I read Google News a lot. I visit it multiple times a day. It is by far the best news aggregator in existence. It doesn’t show you any stupid crap, because, as with all Google systems, it’s algorithmic as opposed to democratic. It is incredibly intelligent when it comes to grouping duplicate content. It’s highly customizable, and it manages to cover everything important.
Recently, they changed Google News. They changed the layout from two columns to one, and some other things. As someone who visits that site frequently, on my PC and on my iPhone, I’m indifferent. It’s neither better nor worse than it was before. All of the key reasons to visit Google News, which I have already described, have not changed. It still provides links to all the important news stories without duplicates or stupid crap.
Remember the hundred or so times Facebook changed its layout and/or privacy policies and people were in an uproar? Well, everyone is still using Facebook, still playing Farmville. No changes going on there. No surprises.
One of my favorite stories is about the Citgo sign in Boston. It’s a gigantic and famous outdoor advertisement. It’s quite garish. When they originally wanted to install it, the neighborhood fought against it tooth and nail. They lost. More recently when it was suggested that it be taken down, people fought to keep it up because it had become a landmark.
Remember when they changed the name of the Nintendo Revolution to the Nintendo Wii? Remember people made jokes about the name? Remember when Firefox changed it’s name two or three times? Now, everyone calls them Wii and Firefox without even thinking about it.
Every time anything changes, for better or for worse, people complain. Then after a time, the change almost always sticks and wins and the complainers forget. We’ll never eliminate all this moronic griping, but perhaps we can lessen it slightly. The next time something changes, wait a week or two before you decide whether the change is really so bad. Odds are you will get used to it and forget it was ever different. The next time you see or hear someone complaining about a recent change, simply because it is a change, ignore them, or at least give them the same advice of waiting a week or two.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Change is the only constant. You’ve heard it all before. That’s why we don’t want to hear it again. Save your breath for when there’s a really important change with real consequences. Losing your shit over the layout of a web site is kind of sad.