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With Bulletin, Google wants you to be the voice of your local community

By Shawn Knight ยท 5 replies
Jan 26, 2018
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  1. Google has launched a new app called Bulletin that’s designed to facilitate the sharing of “hyperlocal” stories about your community.

    According to the search giant, the app makes it “effortless to put a spotlight on inspiring stories that aren’t being told” by local media. For example, if a storm has just rolled through and wiped out access to a local road, you could post about it on Bulletin with video, photos or text to help get the word out so others could take an alternate route to work or simply avoid a dangerous situation.

    Bulletin is all about eliminating friction as you can tell stories without having to create a blog or build a website. Google notes that no setup is required to create a story – all you need is your smartphone. Bulletin stories are public and easy to discover through social networks, via Google search or even by e-mail or messaging apps.

    The app, currently in a limited pilot in Nashville, TN, and Oakland, CA, seemingly offers greater reach than social media as you aren’t required to be friends with someone to be privy to their shared stories.

    Google isn’t the first to offer a solution for this sort of hyperlocal news sharing. Nextdoor is a “private social network” for your neighborhood that’s described as the “best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood.” Facebook also has a service called Local that offers news and information about local events.

    You can request early access to the app over on the Bulletin landing page.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,249   +3,666

    While well intended, this app could well become just another voice piece for so many that want to spread false information, hate speech, and general discord at their targeted communities ...... While it would be nice to find those really representing the community, these are constantly changing and who's point of view should best represent any particular community when you consider how diverse every community is .....
    Spence1115, senketsu and wiyosaya like this.
  3. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 175   +47

    I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps there is a rating system for the "news reporter" so that poorly rated reporters get shuffled down or muted, but not sure that would be an effective solution either.
  4. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,692   +380

    Indeed. Seems like one of those cases where it's a really great idea (Nothing like this exists for my area) but the implementation might fall short no matter how Google pulls it off.

    Even if, as Kevin said, they implement a rating system, that could be abused - especially in a small community.

    Tough call. It's unfortunate that we're in an age where some good ideas (such as this) might not work due to abuse.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,823   +2,173

    To me, it is even more unfortunate that big companies like Google do not seem to understand that a platform like this could be abused.

    I also have to wonder what is Google's motivation for this? From their business model, there has to be something in this that will make a profit for them.

    Sorry, I do not trust Google in the least.
    Spence1115 likes this.
  6. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,692   +380

    Ads, more than likely - I'm sure they'd show up in some shape or form, as that seems to be where most of Google's revenue comes from. But I certainly understand your feelings towards them as a company, many people seem to share them.
    wiyosaya and Spence1115 like this.

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