Living Stories was Google's "experimental format for displaying news coverage" a two-month-long experiment with the New York Times and Washington Post.
Google software engineer Eric Zhang wrote about the process of developing the plugin on the Google News Blog.
"Our next step was to open-source the Living Stories form, allowing publishers to build on it using Google's AppEngine infrastructure. We then released a version of the code that runs independent of our infrastructure. Since then, a number of publications have shared their ideas for ways we can offer additional tools to help them create Living Stories. The WordPress plugin is a direct result of those conversations."
As ReadWriteWeb wrote about the experiment back in February, Living Stories is like a personalized RSS feed reader, but customized to pay attention to just one story. The story is customized to the user, keeping track of what they have already seen so that it can alert them when new content is available.