Our Search Engine Watch Blog is now live, and we hope you'll enjoy this new way for us to communicate about search engines.
The blog isn't going to replace what Search Engine Watch already does. Instead, it's going to let us better publish some items that may not come to your attention.
In particular, the monthly Search Engine Report newsletter that I've sent out since 1996 always contains a rundown on search engine news from around the web. Many of those entries are very blog-like, in offering both news and commentary on the developments.
About 130,000 people get that newsletter, so the items are well seen. However, it takes a month to see them, and the newsletter format makes it difficult to reference an item you may want to share with others.
For example, in the last newsletter was an item where I mentioned that MSN told me that it plans to release its own desktop search tool before the end of the year. I'm fairly sure this is the first time they've publicly put a timeline on that, so it's a great news tidbit. If you knew to look for the hidden bookmark, you could even link to the item like this.
Unfortunately, few know to look for those hidden bookmarks. Over the past year, I have experimented with manually adding permalinks, visible links that bring you straight to an item, as you can see with this example about search deals from earlier this year. But manually inserting these links was a cumbersome process. In addition, even with the links, the mixture of items all together can cause some to be overlooked.
Blogging solves these problems. It's easier in my view to blog a news tidbit and not feel compelled to dive into an entire article about the subject. The format and style of blogging also lends itself to more informal reviews of topics and provides a more personal tone than a regular article allows. Permalinks are automatically created. Items can easily exist on their own.
In short, Search Engine Watch has been blogging for ages, since before blogging software and feeds were out there. Now our spirit is catching up with the proper technology.
As said, the other things Search Engine Watch is known for will continue. Chris Sherman will carry on providing daily, in-depth coverage of various search topics via our SearchDay newsletter. I'll continue to produce articles throughout the month on search topics myself, in particular longer pieces that try to tie together various tends in the industry combined with tips for searchers and search marketers alike.
I'll also continue to write the monthly Search Engine Report newsletter and the twice-monthly Search Engine Update newsletter that goes out to our paid Search Engine Watch members. So if you like those formats, don't panic! You'll continue to get a round-up of significant search news and commentary in one place, via email.
Gary Price, who joined as our news editor last month, now gets to thrive in his element. Gary's been actively blogging about search through his own ResourceShelf site since 2001. That site continues but is focused now on information about library science and research. Gary's great coverage and observations from search now will flow primarily through the Search Engine Watch Blog. His post yesterday about the new changes at Amazon's A9 search site is just one example of that.
It's Gary that you'll see primarily posting on a daily basis (though ironically, he's off today!). I'm more likely to blog on a weekly or twice-weekly basis. I've found it useful over the years to sit back and let the news accumulate for a week or two, then see what trends have emerged out of it. I want to preserve that perspective.
Chris Sherman may pop-up from time-to-time. Either he or Gary will always keep you informed of new SearchDay articles that have been posted. However, Chris may occasionally want to do blog posts on various topics, as well.
Similarly, forums editor Elisabeth Osmeloski will be keeping Gary updated about any key discussions or news out of our Search Engine Watch Forums that were launched in June. She's done a great job of managing the area, which has now surpassed the 1,500 forum members mark. Thanks to those who've participated there and to all our volunteer moderators!
Our forums are where we invite you to comment on any blog posts, just as we currently use them for those who want to comment about regular news stories that we write. Comments are welcomed. It's easy and free to open a forum account. You can start a new thread about something we've blogged or contribute to existing ones that may already be going.
Please consider the blog to be in beta format for the next month or so. We've already had an alpha test, where I blogged a number of items out of my September 2004 Search Engine Report newsletter, to see how the system would work. We also added a number of items since then. But none of this was visible to readers.
Now it is. We'll likely make further tweaks and changes to the site over the coming month or so. FYI, you can reach the blog via http://blog.searchenginewatch.com, though the URL will redirect to http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/. That longer URL will help with some further integration into the regular Search Engine Watch site for later this year. But bookmark either URL, and you'll always reach the blog. (FYI, those wanting more about what we use should see my blog entry, Why We Went With Movable Type.
Blogs, forums, SearchDay, Search Engine Report, Search Engine Update -- what do I read? How do I take it. Don't worry. Very shortly (like in a day or so) I'll update our Search Engine Newsletters page to better explain things and outline the various feeds we offer.
NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.