Go Go Katie Couric Google Gadget

    September 8, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Just when you thought it was safe to load up the Google Personalized Homepage, CBS and Google have released a new gadget featuring the network’s new anchor.

In case you missed one of the seven million or so stories about Katie Couric moving from her morning gig to the evening news anchor desk, that momentous move has taken place. She also holds the title of “managing editor,” which usually is a position occupied by someone who tells the anchor what to do.

At CBS, Katie Couric tells Katie Couric what to do. While we would be delighted beyond belief to see footage of someone trying to tell the new anchor how to do her job on the CBS set, we will have to settle for the glimpse of life at the news desk provided by CBS and Google.

The Google Personalized Homepage supports add-in content modules, called Gadgets. For CBS, this will be a buzz-builder for Couric, which makes us wonder what the other numerous news stories, blog posts, and TV commentary represented in terms of buzz-building.

“Developing this gadget with Google allows us to build online buzz and exposure for the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric among Google’s community of users as well as grow user traffic for CBSNews.com,” Betsy Morgan, Senior Vice President, CBS Digital Media, said in a statement about the Google gadget.

It was supposed to be available online last night, but for all the buzz they want to generate, CBS didn’t make it easy to find on their homepage; it’s way, way down on the right side of the page. On Google, one has to have the New Stuff module open on the Personalized Homepage to find it.

Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search products and user experience, also weighed in on the new gadget. “We’re eager to work with CBS News on new ways to distribute their content online,” she said.

Once in place, the gadget displays three tabs, for Videos, Headlines, and Katie Couric. Under the Katie tab is an introduction to the gadget, and options to see the blog, calendar, photos, and links from the news anchor.

Humorously enough, clicking a link in the blog section crashed IE6. Ah, technology.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.