Last week, at the Online New Association ’13 conference in Atlanta, Google announced the debut of its new Media Tools, which it describes on its public blog as “a centralized hub aimed at empowering journalists of all skill levels with more ways to connect with their audiences.” Media Tools is a one-stop shop for the many services Google offers that benefit journalists and other members of the news media, including search and organization functions (Advanced Search, Trends and Analytics, Consumer Surveys, and file storage/sharing Google Drive) and places to share written, graphic, and audio/visual content (Google+ Hangouts and YouTube.)
Users who work in the media can also benefit from Google’s many visualization tools, from everyday favorites like Google Maps and Earth to lesser-known ones like Fusion Tables and Charts. Among the many other resources listed on Media Tools are pages and programs for publishing, web development, and following breaking stories, as well as a wealth of helpful information on how journalists and other users can successfully leverage these tools in their work. Daniel Sieberg, Head of Media Outreach at Google, indicated that the company plans to release related case studies, tutorials, and expanded content in the near future, as well as versions of the site in other languages.
A Wide Variety of Applications
It makes great sense that Google has put together this comprehensive list of its tools for journalists and other users. As you would expect, the company cites major media outlets as part of its enormous user base, among them The New York Times, which interviewed Secretary of State John Kerry about Syria’s use of chemical weapons via Google+ Hangouts, and The Weather Channel, which leveraged both Google Maps and YouTube to portray the massive damage to the East Coast caused by Hurricane Sandy last year.
What About You?
Even if you’re not a member of the media, Media Tools will no doubt prove useful in your professional life, too. If you’re an online merchant, for example, Media Tools’ Gather and Search category includes a number of functions that you can and should use to keep on top of what users are looking for, like Trends and Analytics. If you run a blog about your company or publish other marketing content, Media Tools provides you with new avenues for sharing it with potential customers. And if there are members of the media interested in a feature story on one of your hot new product releases or a recent achievement by your team, you can hold a “news conference” on Google+ Hangouts at a time that is convenient for all of you—and you can do it from your couch. If you’ve never given an interview to a journalist before, you may find that you feel more comfortable chatting online than speaking in person, as you can read and re-think your comments before hitting Send. And stay tuned—we’re sure we’ll see many more developments from Google in the coming months!