Wednesday, March 4, 2009

rss huntin'

Bloglines Search vs. garden-variety googling:

Only searches posts, but what if I only want to bother with blogs entirely devoted to a certain subject?
The "exclude my feeds" (meaning "I want something I haven't seen before") option could be useful.

It's probably the nature of blogs vs. web pages, but if you're looking for scholarly information, you'd do better with Google, to avoid getting a preponderance of boring, real-world, modern-day, personal junk. When I type in "monticello," I want the famous building, not what some stranger's kid is doing on some school sports team in Monticello, Illinois.

In a Google search for "monticello" and "blog" the first two hits were of a political blog named "Monticello," metaphorically evoking Jefferson's home, and the third was someone blogging about visiting Monticello, Jefferson's home.

A bloglines search for "monticello" yields, at the top, two references to state wrestling matches with some team from Monticello, Nevada and something about someone going to Lake Monticello (Arkansas?).


"Monticello" brought up a list of towns and lakes in various states. Tried browsing by category. There is no "history" category. That makes it useless to me right there. Maybe logging in would bring up a better search function, but I don't want to register for yet another thing, especially one that, as far as I can tell, I'd never use. And the inteface is plain and businessy -- boring!


Literally news feeds, but that's o.k., since it doesn't pretend to be anything else. It could be quite useful to many people. I probably won't use it much, since I already have links to more news sites than I can read. Still, I'll make myself a link to it, as it may be come in handy sometime. Kinda creepy, though, how it comes up with the city I live in, even though I'm not signed in nor have ever even registered.


Well set up for browsing (although it doesn't have a "history" category, either; I doubt that any general search site does {sigh}), and tends to present interesting links on the home page. (Bias admission -- this is a techno-nerd oriented site and I'm a techno-nerd.) One can waste quite a bit of time surfing here. This site also gives videos in its search results. Three of the four shown were definitely about the real place. (I didn't take the time to view them, since it takes forever to download video, but one of the pictures was a famous dome shot, another showed part of the terrace railing, and the other showed Annette Gordon-Reed, a historian who has just written a book about the Hemings family at Monticello.) The plain search didn't immediately bring up any good posts, but there is an advanced search which includes the option "Blogs about."

You can also search tag words and posts that link to a specified website. Using a tag brought up, on the first search page, a couple of pages about vineyards in the area.


Icerocket is a blog search engine not mentioned in the 23 Things list. Its home page is somewhat pop-culture oriented, and has less packed on it than Technorati's. Besides search tabs for Blogs, the Web, News, Images, etc. it has tabs for Twitter and MySpace.

A search for Monticello, brought up, on the first page, three references to the original Monticello. Searching for "monticello" and "virginia" brought up the best results of any of the blog searches -- seven good results, including the first four on the page. There is an option for an "Advanced" search, but it doesn't show up until you've done a plain search.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip about sounds like my kinda place!