Summit Daily launches audio news updates for Alexa, Google Home
July 29, 2018
"Alexa, what's the meaning of life?"
The virtual assistant glowed a cascading blue and green as it pondered my question. The colors continued their flow around and around the top of the instrument as I waited. Nothing. Now, I realize that after 33 years on this planet I still haven't figured out the answer to this question, but I was expecting at least maybe a question to my question in response. I mean, at least give me the creepy laugh. I guess that only happens at the most inopportune times, like when you're telling your teenagers you never partied when you were their age.
I was testing out the Alexa for the first time in the Summit Daily office. I had just plugged it in and wanted answers, but it was like being 12 all over again and getting my first Magic 8-Ball. "Does Billy like me?" shaking the toy optimistically, turning it over. "Concentrate and ask again," it taunted me. Now Alexa was taunting me, also not giving me the answers I so desperately sought.
"Oh wait," I said out loud to our front desk assistant, who was watching me give Alexa demands with increasing loudness. "Maybe it's not connected to the internet."
"I'm having trouble connecting to the internet," Alexa said, right on cue. I will never be smarter than Alexa.
One of my favorite aspects of my job as digital engagement editor is experimenting with new tools for storytelling. As the media industry changes, we have to be willing to adapt with it. Facebook changed its algorithm for the 800th time? What's new. Videos in 360 degrees or AI? Sign me up. Journalism on the blockchain? It's already happening.
While our print product is alive and well in Summit County — proven by how quickly papers are snagged off the racks during high season — we are just as committed to our digital products. We realize in our constantly shifting landscape that we need to evolve just as quickly, and make sure we give our busy, on-the-go readers ways to access local news when and where they want it.
With that in mind we have decided to launch daily audio news offerings for Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers.
The short daily briefings will feature the top headlines from Summit County, including news, weather, sports and things to do. It will be updated by 5 a.m. each weekday.
In addition to Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the daily updates will also be available on Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Google Play.
BE SMARTER THAN ALEXA
Here are the specific commands to start hearing the updates on your Amazon Alexa or Google Home device:
On Amazon Alexa (video instructions at bottom of this story)
Search for the Summit Daily skills on your Amazon Alexa app and click "Enable." Enable both Summit Daily skills to listen to the news as part of your Flash Briefing and on-demand.
Once the Flash Briefing is enabled, Ask Alexa: "Alexa, what's in the news?" or "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" to hear the latest news stories.
To listen to news on-demand from the Summit Daily, ask your Alexa, "Alexa, what's the latest from Summit Daily?"
Listening to multiple Flash Briefings? Hear news from the Summit Daily first each day by selecting Flash Briefing in the settings on your Amazon Alexa app. Select "Edit Order" and move Summit Daily to the top of your list.
On Google Home
1. Conversational Action:
Ask your Google Home, "OK Google, talk to Summit Daily"
2. Narrative News:
Ask your Google Home, "OK Google, what's the latest from Summit Daily?", "OK Google, play Summit Daily" or "OK Google, open Summit Daily"
Or, to listen to the latest news from your default news providers, say "OK Google" or "Hey Google," then… "Catch me up," "Listen to the news," or "Tell me the news."
To add Summit Daily as a default news provider in Google Home:
Open the Google Home app
Tap "More settings" "News."
To add a news source, tap "Add news sources" and tap the check mark next to the sources you want to add.
To change the order of the list:
Tap "Change order" and hold the hashmark next to the news source. Drag the news source up or down.
We have plenty of other digital products to help you get your daily dose. You can sign up for our daily newsletter, weekend entertainment guide or breaking news blast on our homepage. Get instant updates on our top stories and breaking news by allowing your device to receive push notifications. Simply click into any article on our website, stay on it for 45 seconds, and a prompt will ask you to allow the notifications.
And of course, follow us on social media: Find us on Facebook and Twitter at @SummitDailyNews, and Instagram at @exploresummit.
Feel free to email me anytime with questions or comments — or to nerd out about blockchain — at email@example.com.
Heather Jarvis is the digital engagement editor at the Summit Daily News.
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