In the continued race to develop stronger transmedia presence on the Web for news organizations, CBS has decided to ramp up the news value of its site by creating a more powerful search tool for network coverage.
According to announcement that came through earlier today, CBS News has entered into a partnership with the group known as Answers Corp., creators of AnswerTips, to create a search engine that will help users navigate the site. For CBS, they get a much more dynamic search engine than one would expect on a network news site. And, in return, they are providing big news to Answers.com.
Michele Grippi with TelevisionWeek writes, "When the user's Alt key is clicked on any word or phrase, an AnswerTips window opens offering everything on the subject from maps and historical background to definitions." These sites is the first time some of these devices are being used on a Web space, as they are often only available by downloading a program.
Answers also provided a brief press release on the development.
How important is search and navigation tools for a news Web site? From the point of users, these types of tools are essential, especially for Web 2.0. The question is how can these types of tools be best monetized, and how will companies incorporate them into an important part of the business model?
In the meantime, CBS' search to make their news content more easily navigated is a step in the right direction for a richer news-gathering experience.