I think we need a new blog search engine and a new blog community service. The ones we have now just really suck. Sorry to Google BlogSearch. Sorry to Technorati. Sorry even to my favorite TechMeme, TailRank, or to Digg. No, Slashdot didn’t do a good job either.
Here’s your assignment: find me the best blogs from Demo Fall 2006.
Within 10 minutes.
I just spent an hour at it and it’s amazingly difficult to pick out who has the best blogs on a single topic.
Let’s start on blog search.
Search Google’s Blog Search service (did you even know they had a blog search service?) for the words “Demo 2006.” Now, you get a nice list of all sorts of blogs. But, is there anything on any of these posts that tells you one post is better than another? No. You just get a freaking long list and there’s even some noise in this result set. See “Military Recruiting Station Demo.”
Which brings me to a way Google could improve. Why doesn’t it ask me “are you looking for recruiting Demos or are you looking for DemoFall 2006?” It could easily constrain the search down a bit. Search on “DemoFall 2006″ with quotes, for instance, and you get a much cleaner resultset.
But, what I really want is a human touch. I want a wiki! Is there one? If there were we could all link to stories about Demo and we could add editorial commentary onto those links.
Lacking a wiki, though, we need a hierarchy.
So, let’s head over to Technorati. I like the UI on Technorati a lot more than Google Blog Search. It’s amazing that Google hasn’t invested any time on that yet. It’s why I still go back to Technorati.
Oh, and I just tried its “authority” ranking. Here, compare. “DemoFall 2006″ with a lot of authority. That brings back 61 results. Change the drop down setting to “Any Authority” and you get 411 results.
The problem is, authority is based on global links, not links about a specific post from DemoFall. So, it’s really not as useful as it might seem. In practice, though, it works better than you might expect since people who have built a good reputation and earned a lot of links over time do tend to have the better blog posts.
But, now, let’s change the rules. Let’s find the best products, as chosen from the bloggers? Finding that is nearly impossible. You have to read every blog.
I’d like to be able to read all the blog posts about the new Zing, for instance, and have a UI that would let me read “positive reviews” and “negative reviews.”
None of the news sources or blog search engines give you anything like that.
But, how do you find the best posts from an event? How do you figure out what was important that happened there? What would you like to know about what happened at Demo yesterday and today? Using today’s tools just totally leaves me unsatisfied.