There's plenty of talk these days about what's "the best" weblog/RSS engine. Trying to determine which specific engine is "best" would be a difficult, if not an impossible, exercise. What's "best" for me might not work for you. Plus, what's "best" on Monday might be second best on Tuesday since the the blogosphere is changing every minute.
So, instead of continuing this post in search of determining the "best" engine, let's talk about a resource that's currently available that allows you to tap results from most of the big names in weblog search.
When asked where I begin my searches of the blogosphere these days, I have an answer.
I utilize all of them! How's that for diplomacy. (-:
However, I don't go one engine at a time when running searches but instead use the power of metasearching to provide me with what I I often find to be very useful results.
For most of my blogosphere search needs, Clusty Blog Search works well.
So, is Clusty Blog Search tapping a bunch of unknown engines. Hardly!
You'll find results from several well-known blog engines:
The advanced Clusty Blog Search interface is where I start most of my blog searching.
Using it allows me to increase the number of results Clusty returns while also offering the option to add or delete specific engines.
Of course, Clusty's well-known dynamic clustering is also part of their blog search tool. In some cases, the dynamic clustering can help you get you to a quality answer more quickly by providing what Clusty's owner, Vivisimo, calls a selective ignorance. Plus, I've found that clustering can also be used as a knowledge discovery. In other words, helping the searcher quickly spot trends, names, etc. that would take hours and hours to do manually.
Another feature I like about Clusty Blog Search is that it allows me to see which database or databases the results are coming from. You'll find the database name listed next to each url. It makes searching even more interesting for people who enjoy comparing results. Items available in multiple databases are grouped together.
Finally, here are a few other features you might find useful.
+ Directly above the dynamically generated clusters on the left side of the page, note the "cluster by" pull-down menu. If you select, "URL" you can quickly see where the results are coming from. Interesting and possibly another way of spotting blogs of possible interest.
+ At the top of results pages you'll see a link labeled "Details." Clicking this link allows you to find out how many results are coming from each engine. I do my best to see at least the first 100 from each engine.
+ Next to each title on a results page you'll notice a few icons. Click the "venn diagram (three circles) icon" and you'll see what cluster(s) contain the item. Items can be in more than one cluster. If you click the magnifying glass icon, you'll open a live version of the result embedded directly into the results page. A real timesaver!
Using Clusty to search the blogosphere offers an easy way to quickly see results from most of the well-known databases while also allowing you to benefit of dynamic clustering. Worth a look!