Search weblogs on Global Voices

We’ve just added a very cool feature to Global Voices – the ability to search through 4,800 of the weblogs our editors consult most frequently in putting together their roundup of blogs from around the world. The backend for this search technology is Google’s Co-op search, which I complained about in this blog post, then raved about in this post – in between the two posts, Google used some of our feedback to tune their algorithms and produce results that are much better suited to blogs than to the sites they’d used as their initial testbed.

The project is a very early beta for us – I’m sure there are sites in our index that aren’t blogs (which we’ll remove if you let us know) and there are certainly blogs we follow regularly that need to be added to the index. This version was built from OPML files our editors provided to us from the aggregators they use to put together GV. A future version will include all the sites we link to on GV, which should expand the collection quite a bit. And an even further off version will integrate with the giant aggregator we’ll be offering on the site next year, which will let you look at new posts from all the countries we cover, as well as offering suggestions for feeds we should be watching – the blogs covered by that aggregator will be the same blogs tracked by the search engine.

To check out the search, go to the main page of Global Voices, and select the middle option on the search bar – search “the Global Voices Web”. And please let me know if you’ve got feedback, positive or negative, on what you find.

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7 Responses to Search weblogs on Global Voices

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » Global Voices launches new search function!

  2. Thought I’d give some details of what very interesting future functionality we’re looking at by integrating our aggregator’s subscription lists with the Google CSE service:
    – The CSE allows us attach labels to sites in our index, meaning we can allow you to search for a term against the blogs we watch in, say, only a specific region, or country, or on of our topics.
    – we can also give sources “weights”, which we could calculate a number of ways: how often we’ve linked to a source, what kind of star-rating the source gets on our aggregator from our editors/visitors, etc… this promotes (or demotes) the the sources’ weights in the search results.
    – I’ve just inquired if we will be able to toggle the search into a “Sorted by date” results setting, as Google News has. (Remember, Google is more about Google Rank/Authoritativeness than explicit freshness)

    Fun stuff! :)

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  4. ange says:

    Guys, i’ve got a question:

    has the keyword field of the search feature been tied in any way to the images’ rotator? is there some image tagging going on behind the scenes that brings up GV authors’ images along with search results which corresponds to the keyword a user types in?

    was test driving the search field a few minutes ago with various keywords along the lines of an adult theme (see url for more screencap) and for about two of the keywords i used out came two of the same people.. so for example i ran a search for porn and out came the images for gv author a, b &, performed another search for pr0n, out came the images for gv author a & c. So are the images tagged somehow with the search key word field?

    If not.. well it would be sweet think to have it happen.. well obviously not for keywords like porn and the like.. for example if someone were to search for south asia, pakistan, quake, the search results page would pull up results accordingly along with images of gv authors (variant of four images specific to those keywords) who cover those regions/topics :) and when one clicks upon each image they go to the author’s page as is now..

    i think there’s two ways of doing this, one would be a simple keyword matching image tag + blog tags and feeds, i guess another way would be to match the gv authors’ feeds + blog tags.

    Any of this making sense? seriously interested here :)

    Cheers & keep up the great work!

  5. Ethan says:

    Ange, there’s no relationship between search and those photos in the top banner – they’re rotated at random through a set of images given to us by GV authors. They repeat too often because not enough authors have given us their pictures…

    It’s an intriguing suggestion to link search and images – it’s something we might take more seriously when there’s more image content on the site. At present, I don’t know if matching authors to country searches is something we’d use developer time to put together. But if we’re at a point where we’ve got a photo editor and are doing a lot more image content, I can see this making sense.

  6. Mary says:

    This is a very neat idea. I like that GV is always trying to improve itself and innovate in practical ways.

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