Blog Searching

A wee while ago I was moaning that searching for good new blogs was surprisingly difficult. Not because people’s blogs aren’t great for the right readers, but because sometimes you just happen upon a large number of blogs that aren’t right for you. Pete makes a point when he says the ‘next blog’ link on the Blogger circuit isn’t a good option. When I tried it, I came across a lot of foreign language blogs, one splog (which I flagged), and a number of pages which, strangely, didn’t have the Blogger bar and I couldn’t get off them by clicking ‘next blog’ as the link just wasn’t there.

Huff.

Blog search engines are a little better (when they’re not too limited or slow) as you can take a pot shot at finding blogs on your favourite subjects, but even that can bring some very mixed results. For instance, if you search for cat blogs, you are just as likely to find people who don’t much like cats, revile them with a passion, or just happen to be telling a story about the neighbour’s cat who got run over (something you didn’t particularly want to know). Or they have cats, bunnies, hamsters, lots of friends and are nine years old.

A better method is to follow links on blogs you already like (Pete’s preferred way of venturing further afield!) I’ve found some crackers that way, but I sometimes wonder if I’m like the small child tagging along with older sisters and brothers. Maybe I should leave them alone and find my own friends. Or maybe that’s just my paranoia talking – blogs are supposed to link and readers meant to follow. All the same, when I follow links, it’s with a slight sense of guilt.

If you visit Technorati, you can search for other blogs under particular tags. I wasn’t all that enthralled with what I found, but I’ve only tried one tag so far – maybe I was just unlucky.

Then I realized something! There’s quite a nifty way of searching other Blogger blogs – through the profiles. Instead of just writing “I like all kinds of books” in your profile, try typing the names of your favourite authors or titles – then click on the links. Turned out I wasn’t the only one fond of the Dictionary of Quotations.

O! let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast.

Shakespeare

Happy blog searching.

Edit Feb 2008: Comments for this entry when it was hosted on Blogigo:

1. blogger wrote at Sep 14, 2006 at 08:56:
You’re right. The best way of finding blogs of interest is to follow the links on the blogroll of a blog that interests you. You often find the best and relevant that way. Search engines aren’t great and naturally they don’t cover all blogs – only a small percentage. Profiles is a good way to go. Had never thought of that aspect.:)

2. Pacian wrote at Sep 14, 2006 at 15:03:
I spent some time seeing who liked the same movies/books as me in my Blogspot profile. But you only get the first four pages of the list, and the blogs are ordered in a very strange way. It’s always the same four pages of blogs – often blogs that haven’t updated in years, or don’t have more than one or two posts. Now that they’re focusing on Blogger Beta, there’s no telling if and when any real functionality will be implemented in it, but at the moment I find it pretty useless.

3. Diddums wrote at Sep 14, 2006 at 17:19:
Hmm. There’s potential for the ‘profiles’ links but it would be better if we could sort them. I didn’t realize there was a limit to how many of the other blogs we get to see – except when I was trying to add books and things, and eventually you run out of space. What got me was that many of the bloggers listed were quite a bit younger than me, so it would be nice to be able to filter through the list to find people who are more a certain age (if they choose to give it – I can’t remember if I did or not). Maybe it’s just that younger people are more likely to admit their age, I don’t know. 😉

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