Google Blog Search

GoogleSearch Engine Watch and Charlene Li’s Blog report that “Google has introduced its long awaited blog search service [two different interfaces, but the same results], becoming the first major search engine to offer full-blown blog and feed search capabilities.”

More information is available at Google’s About Blog Search page, although it actually underplays some of the features:

Google blog search results point primarily to individual blog postings, with a title and snippet from each—strongly resembling Google’s web search results. In some cases, links to “related blogs” are presented at the top of search results if a query suggests that the user is looking for a particular blog rather than a specific blog posting.

Results are sorted by date, with recent posts appearing at the top of the list. You can also choose to sort results by relevance. Goldman says that while blog search uses its own unique approach to relevance ranking, it also draws a lot from Google’s web search ranking algorithms.

Google blog search has an advanced search page and a number of commands are available. allowing you to limit searches by title, author and date or date range. You can also limit results to a specific language, or apply the Safe Search filter to results.

You can also discover who’s linking to a post or blog using the link: command. Unlike Google web search, which sharply curtails the number of results displayed using link: command to discourage abuse by search marketers, the link: command in blog search displays a comprehensive and nearly complete list of sources linking to a particular post or blog.

You can also save a blog search as an alert that gets updated any time new content is posted matching you query. Google blog search allows you to issue a query and then subscribe to that query via your RSS feed reader, with either 10 or 100 results being displayed.

Ever since Google bought Pyra Labs, there has been speculation on how it would integrate blogs into the rest of its offerings. It appears that it might have been worth the wait.

Back From Vacation

Well, I’m back from vacation. Actually, I’ve been back since the weekend, but this is obviously the first opportunity I’ve taken to sit down and make some posts. Thanks to Czar for taking the time to post (and to reintroduce himself) during my absence.

We had a nice vacation, and although it wasn’t as exotic as some of our recent journeys to Ireland and Iceland, Cape May (New Jersey shore) was very nice this time of year. The weather was beautiful, and since we went during the week we completely avoided the Labor Day Weekend crowds.

We took lots of pictures of the Victorian architecture and the surrounding beaches, and we got some great night shots of the rides on the Wildwood Boardwalk. I’ll try to post some of those pictures, but I realize that I still haven’t followed through on posting pictures from the Pax River Air Expo. Hopefully I can finally catch up on all of that soon, and hopefully I’ll be able to post more regularly now that things are somewhat less hectic.

Hello Again

Hi there DrikoLand readers! As Driko has mentioned, it’s been a while since I have posted much on these pages and it’s high time I did so once again. I know we have some new readers as well as some new guest posters, so I’ll briefly reintroduce myself. I’m Czar, an old friend of Driko and Shaft from college days (as well as their lovely wives Ulana and Mrs. Shaft, respectively). I live in Denver, CO, USA, and I do stage lighting and other related things for a living. I have had other careers over the years, most recently computer networking/IT, but I haven’t enjoyed a minute of that since about 2000, so I finally gave it up last year.

Oh, for those who are interested, I have a new venue of employment. It might not have quite the glamour of doing legitimate theatre (whatever that is), but unlike my previous gig, it comes with new challenges every day and I get to be creative and play lighting designer. And it’s where the money is. And my boss is also in charge of the lighting for the new art museum, so I’ll also be spending a lot of my time there starting this winter. Life is pretty good sometimes…

Anyway, that’s more than enough about me. Time for some actual blogging.

Katrina Aftermath

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, causing unimaginable devastation to New Orleans and large portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. I expect we’re all weary of the 24/7 news reports by now, but I’d like to encourage everyone to donate money if they are able, and I’d like to provide a forum here to discuss the catastrophe.

Both the President and Congress are promising investigations on what went wrong during the first stages of the rescue and relief effort. Here are some of the things I expect they will find:

1. When a mandatory evacuation is ordered, state and local officials need to take responsibility to enforce it, and to provide transportation and other necessities to those who don’t have the means on their own.

2. FEMA needs to be much better organized, and have resources pre-positioned in strategic areas, ready to deploy as quickly and efficiently as possible. They also need the ability to improvise a solution to meet the needs of whatever situation is thrown at them. That being said, the very scenario of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans and rupturing the levees has been discussed at the Federal level for years. FEMA really has little excuse for not anticipating this and being ready for it.

3. Communication infrastructure needs to be improved. This includes radio coms for emergency responders and coordination among government departments, agencies, and NGOs. If telephone landlines, cell phone transmission facilities, and Internet communications are vulnerable to a single disaster (flood, nuclear blast, etc.) there must be other solutions (e.g. satellite) available to meet the need. We also need a more streamlined bureaucracy for help requests from local officials to federal agencies, etc.

4. The absence of law and order causes society to revert to chaos and violence. If local police are unable to maintain control, the National Guard needs to be ready to step in quickly to restore order. If (and only if) the state governor requests it, the DoD’s Northern Command should back them up in short order as well. This last directive, I believe, did happen. The US Navy and other branches of service were ready with amphibious landing craft, helicopters, and humanitarian supplies, but due to miscommunication (mostly traceable to FEMA) they were not able to be used effectively for days. (See point #3 above.)


DrikoLand On Vacation

Blue Angels, Pax River 2005
Well, my grand plans for a redesign obviously did not come to fruition this week. I’ll be on vacation next week, so DrikoLand will continue to be somewhat stagnant, although hopefully Czar and/or Shaft will find time to post in my absence. Or perhaps we’ll finally see the debuts of Ruprecht or Sir Bias? Hint, hint…

I don’t know whether I’ll have any Internet access while on vacation, so I don’t know whether I’ll be able to post pictures etc., but I have a lots of good pictures from the practice show for the Patuxent River Air Expo that I attended at work yesterday. I’ll definitely post a web page of pictures from that air show when I return. For now, enjoy a taste with the picture above. Pretty cool, huh? 🙂

By the way, the air show is today and tomorrow if anyone is interested in attending; it should be gorgeous weather for the Blue Angels and the other performers…