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Yahoo! Beta Testing Blog Search Application Sitesfrom: Danny Wirken
In the recent past, a news story came out that Yahoo! has begun testing a blog search application in its Korean blog site. Yahoo!, a leading global Internet company offers a range of features making it a one-stop shop for all the popular activities of the Internet. These features include Yahoo! Mail (a web-based e-mail service), Yahoo! Messenger (instant messaging client), online gaming, chat, news and information portals, online shopping and online auction facilities. Add to this array of features, the Blog Search. Yahoo! seems to be ready to challenge industry leader blog search site, Technorati.
The blog search technology is designed to let bloggers sign up to publish their weblogs. The technology boasts of various search tools that will enable blog visitors to retrieve content and images within weblogs, latest blog postings or pages marked as favorites.
Blogs are currently the rage in the Internet. Anybody with an Internet connection can publish a blog for the worldwide audience to see. At the beginning of 1999, there were only an estimated two or three dozen blogs in existence. As of July 2006, Technorati counted more than 50 million and still growing. In fact, 75 000 new blogs are created everyday.
A blog, short for weblog, is an interactive, personalized web journal for posting articles or anything one wants to share with the general public or a select few. Articles or posts are arranged in reverse chronological order, that is, recent addition is at the top of the page. A blog is updated regularly and contains links to other articles (posts), blogs or websites. Posting comments is another feature. Many blogs focus on a specific topic such as politics, sports, technology, health, news, etc. Others are more like personal diaries detailing the author's (blogger) rants, raves and musings.
Because of the rapid growth of blogs, keeping on top of them is quite challenging. Industry players like Yahoo! is well aware of the increasing power of blogs and their ability to provide a wealth of information online. Yet, there are only a few blog-specific search tools to go through all the information in real time.
Two months after Yahoo! began testing the blog search feature on its Korean blog site; it has finally unveiled its blog search tool. The launch came at a time when the United States was still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. During that time, millions of people logged in to Yahoo! News for in-depth and accurate information. Simultaneously, bloggers were posting first-hand accounts, pictures, opinions, personal experiences. But due to lack of mainstream exposure, much relevant information was not disseminated. This further highlights the role that a blog search tool can play - a channel to bring information to the public in the shortest time possible.
Instead of launching a stand alone feature, Yahoo! has integrated blogs in Yahoo! News Search. When a user conducts a search in Yahoo! News, blog results as well as news from trusted news sites will be displayed simultaneously. Yahoo! acknowledges that the opinions, stories and experiences published on blogs make a great complement to mainstream news people read everyday. Blogs have proven to be an effective medium for anyone who wants to be heard in the public forum. A lot of times bloggers have even beaten mainstream media to newsworthy stories.
Traditional media recognize that they do not have the time and resources to cover all the events and happenings in the world. By incorporating the blog search into Yahoo! News, Yahoo! desires to offer an alternative perspective on news aside from what mainstream media can offer. Yahoo! wishes to bring professional journalism and amateur or citizen journalism together to provide the users with a wider array of information. Yahoo assures the users and the general public as well that there will be enough distinction where the information is coming from.
Yahoo! aims to learn from users and publishers. The expanded news search gives users more chances to find relevant information that matters to them from leading news stories, commentaries, citizen first-hand reports, pictures and images that mainstream media may not have covered. It will be to the utmost benefit of the millions of people who wants to be informed of what is going on around the world if Yahoo! News can bring mainstream and personal or grassroots media together. The people are then assured of greater variety of sources and viewpoints from all corners of the world.
When a user conducts a search on Yahoo! News, results from mainstream media partners of Yahoo! will be displayed on the left side of the page. On the right side, in a side-bar type area will be relevant blog search results. When the user clicks on "all blog results", the user will receive Flickr (Yahoo!'s photo sharing service) photo thumbnails related to his search on the right hand side of the search results page. By integrating global grassroots media into the News Search results, users can enjoy analysis or opinions thru blogs but also related photos from the Flickr community that will provide a visual context to content as reported by the citizens. In addition, My Web links will also be displayed on the right hand side of the search results page together with Flickr. My Web is Yahoo!'s social search engine that utilizes the combined knowledge of the My Web community. My Web provides important links to information related to the user's search topic.
As to which search results to display in its blog column, Yahoo! does not give specifics but suffice it to say that blog search results are based in part on the popularity of the blogs within My Yahoo!, as measured by a computer algorithm. At first, only blogs registered with the My Yahoo! RSS directory will be included in the search but will eventually scan the millions of blogs outside the My Yahoo! sphere.
Yahoo!'s Blog Search will complement Yahoo! 360, its social networking and blog publishing service and Yahoo!'s recently launched advertising service for small publishers.
Whether you are looking for political commentary on the Israeli air strikes in Lebanon, Superman movie reviews, iMac G5 specs, sumptuous Vietnamese recipes, Louis Vuitton's latest bag collection, or anything else, Yahoo! Blog Search will help you find out what people are saying on these subjects of your choice.