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Marshall's Web Tool Blog

Training and Consulting in New Tools for Effective Web Use

This site is an archive of posts that I hope you will find useful. Please visit my new site at Marshallk.com.

Blog Search Without RSS? No thanks.

I really like Clusty.com for searching the web in general. The metasearch (many different engines searched), the clustering by topic, the live preview windows (click the magnifying glass in search results) and the inclusion of Wikipedia are all awesome. When search guru Gary Price wrote yesterday that Blogs.Clusty.com is his favorite blog search engine because it metasearches Blogdigger , Daypop , Feedster, Technorati, Blogpulse, and IceRocket - I got pretty excited. But the first thing I went looking for was, "can I still subscribe to the RSS feed of my search so I'll be automatically notified of any new search results?" (What I call persistent search to RSS.) Unfortunately, it appears that the answer is no!

Searching for something manually, be it on the web in general or in the blogosphere, is a very inefficient way to gather information. When a project is begun, I believe you should determine some good search queries once - and then grab the RSS feed for those searches. Don't miss new results just because you forgot to repeat a search manually. Don't act based on search results that are as old as the last time you remembered to go perform a search manually. Get all the newest results as soon as they are available on the web after only performing a search one time!

Now, all the above blog search engines offer RSS feeds for their searches, so why do I have to lose that when I do a metasearch? RSSMix can splice multiple feeds into one new feed, wouldn't it only make sense for any blog metasearch engine, like Clusty, to do this as well?

This is such a powerful application that failure to include it in any search service is a huge loss. I really hope that will change. For now I will continue to grab the RSS feeds from each of those services one at a time, perhaps running them through RSS Mix if I need one feed for output, but I sure wish that Clusty created one metafeed for me.

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