Google Blogsearch

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With the 10th anniversary edition of  Cluetrain coming out, I thought I’d try to keep up with postings that mention “Cluetrain” — through four five Live Web* search engines: BlogPulse, Google BlogSearch, Technorati, FreindFeed Search and Twitter Search. I’ve got all four feeding into an aggregator.

As of 3:33pm EDST, BlogPulse finds 20 posts so far in the month of June. Google Blogsearch finds 22. Technorati is currently down.  Twitter Search finds 28 in the last day (I didn’t go back any farther there.) Not sure I want to make this a more formal research effort. I just thought it was worth vetting a bit about how I’m following stuff.

[Later...] Thanks to Chris Heath for suggesting I add FriendFeed Search. There I just gave up counting at 50 postings.

* I much prefer “live” to “real time”, mostly because my son Allen came up with the “Live Web” line way back in 2003, and correctly observed that the Web of sites was essentially a static one, and that the World Live Web would branch off of it. The language alone is a give-away. The Static Web is full of real estate language: sites, domains and locations that you architect, design and build. While the Live Web is one with feeds where you write, post, update, syndicate and now also tweet and re-tweet. To me the differences between static and live are much clearer than those between ______ (find a word) and real time.

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Dave asks, When Google has to cut its own revenue stream by enhancing search, will they do it?

Good question. Here is another: Has Google’s success at advertising slowed its innovations around search? And, How far will Google go with search engine improvements if there’s clearly no advertising money in it?

I’m not suggesting answers here. I’m just asking.

There are many things I would love to search for that Google doesn’t cover. But then, nobody does. For example, a date-range search just of blogs. Google Blogsearch does feature date-based search, with the most recent on top. But what if I want to search just in November and December of 2004? Near as I can tell, it can’t be done. (Correct me if I’m wrong. I’m glad to be.) [Later...] I am corrected by the first two comments.

I once had high hopes that Technorati would support that kind of search, but both Technorati and Google Blogsearch are playing the What’s Popular game. (For what it’s worth, I used to be on Technorati’s advisory board, but now David Sifry is gone and I’m not sure the company even has one any more.)

Anyway, it’s hard for me not to appreciate the many different ways Google lets me search for stuff. Their geographic services, for example, are amazing. So is stuff like this. But I can’t help but notice that the basic search offering has changed relatively little over the years. Is it because of the advertising? You tell me. I really don’t know.

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Here’s a job for the Citizen Media’s long tail: find the fist time anybody used the terms “Craigslist killer”, “Craigslist case” or “Craigslist murder”. What the effort will highlight are two issues for journalism. One is the absence of an engine that allows easy first-date or date-range search. (Unless I’m mistaken about that, which I’d be glad to be. [Later... I am.]) The other is the unfairness of turning the name of a business into an adjective that modifies the noun for a crime — essentially re-branding that business as a criminal accessory.

Why “Craigslist killer”? Well, the easy answer is that the killer apparently targeted victims he found on Craigslist, and that’s interesting. Meaning it’s kind of new and different. Murder goes digital. Hey, you don’t hear about “the phone book killer” or “the newspaper killer,” do you? (Well, actually, Craigslist has been called that too.)

My point here isn’t about how natural and easy it is to name a case “Craigslist murder”, but about what that does to Craigslist. I think it’s unfair, as well as a bummer for Craig Newmark and the rest of the Craigslist folks, even if the label is hard to avoid using.

Meanwhile, I’d love to see better chronological search on Google Blogsearch and Technorati, both of which offer it, at least for syndicated sources.

Dr. Weinberger covers this, and adjacent topics.

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