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Searching for Bloggers Near You

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Want to meet local bloggers in your area? A new service from Blogdigger pinpoints bloggers by their physical location in the United States, with coverage soon to be extended to cities throughout the world.

Blogdigger, a blog search engine that we've mentioned several times on the Search Engine Watch blog, rolled out a new local search feature earlier this week.

The new feature is unlike other local search services like Yahoo Local, Google Local or even A9's Yellow Pages, which all focus on helping you locate local businesses, services, attractions and so on. Rather, Blogdigger local attempts to locate individual bloggers writing from specific U.S. cities or zip codes.

This makes it easier to locate someone writing about beer in Boston or soccer in San Francisco than it would be using a general purpose search engine, or even another blog search service like Daypop or Feedster.

Like other local search services, Blogdigger queries have two parts: your search terms, and a location, which you enter as a city/state combination or by using a zip code. Search results are sorted by relevance, with probable hits found within a 20 mile radius of the city or zip code you specify in your query. You can change the distance to 5, 10 or 100 miles, and also re-sort the results by date rather than relevance.

A sidebar shows a map of the city with a list of other blogs operating from that area. If you enter a city name or zip code with no other search terms, your results will show all blog postings associated with that area.

Whether you find Blogdigger local useful or not depends largely on what you're looking for, and the calibre of bloggers operating in the area you're focusing on. I found it most useful for looking for recommendations for local services or merchants in specific areas—restaurant recommendations in New York City and other things of that nature.

As with all blog search engines, your mileage will vary and results will be wildly inconsistent in terms of quality. But that's more a characteristic of the blogosphere, where anything goes, rather than a flaw with Blogdigger or any other blog search engine.

Blogdigger currently has information about blogs in more than 50,000 U.S. cities. The service uses a number of methods to identify a blogger's location, including the The GeoURL ICBM Address Server, a database of more than 168,000 URLs that have been associated with a specific latitude and longitude somewhere in the world. You can add your own blog or web site to the GeoURL server by following the instructions here.

Currently limited to U.S. blogs, Blogdigger says it is developing international support for the service and will roll it out later this year.

Blogdigger has some other interesting features that are worth exploring. Its media search looks for audio, video, images and BitTorrent streams posted on blogs. Blogdigger's proprietor, Greg Gershman, also writes his own blog, chronicling his development efforts with the service.

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