Recently I was contacted by a company who wanted to sell me access to a news clipping service. I have no idea why or how they selected me, but they did the hard sell and in response to my rejections threw a free trial at me and they promised to call me after a week to see if I had found it useful. They would then sign me up – at least they hoped they would.
Now those who read this blog know that I value the capabilities of Google Alerts for obtaining live information about whatever subject I want. So it was interesting to compare the service with the ‘freebie’.
Well I can say now that newsclipping services are on the deathlist with the availability of Google Alerts and that pretty much all news and other information is now being published online. The service just provided me the same links that Google Alerts provides with the addition of fancy graphics, a different interface and a bill. I never checked how much the news clipping service would cost me, but frankly anything more than free would have been too much.
These services can only survive in the future by providing something else of value but I cannot identify what that something else could be – certainly correcting for the odd false positive is really not worth the money. Google Alerts is the thing.