With millions of blogs online and tens of thousands of new ones appearing daily, there is a need for tools to sort through the many new voices posting on the Net. Certainly traditional search engines like Google index the blogosphere, but there are other tools focused primarily on blogs. When I want a search to see what’s hot and recent in the blog world, I go to Technorati. The search results are presented chronologically, so often the first results returned are mere minutes or hours old.
Even if you do not see a present need for them, it’s important for lawyers to be aware of powerful tools. Genie Tyburski‘s The Virtual Chase Alert directs us to an article worth reading by anyone who fancies themselves as knowing how to do Internet research. A free article, available to nonsubscribers, on the Wall Street Journal’s online edition discusses blog search engines and has a nice chart comparing five blog search tools. Read it today. I’m not sure how long it will be online before being archived. Even lawyers with little interest in blogs should peruse this one.
Of course there are always new trailblazing concepts. Cutting edge blogger Matt Homann of the [non]billable hour blog is already dismissing those of us who use Technorati as behind the curve. He points to Talk Digger, which is a metasearch engine that submits queries both to the blog search engines and traditional ones. Here’s the Talk Digger FAQ. I have to disagree with my friend Matt as TalkDigger only indexes and lets you search Website addresses, not traditional keyword searchs. It is useful for bloggers to see who is linking to their posts and in some other situations. (Trackback links, like you see at the bottom of this post, only capture a very few of those who link to a blog post.) But for common searches I’m sticking with Technorati and, if I ever find time, will be examining more closely the other tools identified in the WSJ article. (IceRocket was new to me.)