It seems like everyone and their brother has a weblog search engine nowadays, but I don’t see true innovation springing forth like I thought I would. Look at the giant innovative step that del.icio.us took in the realm of bookmarking — it used to be something you’d do on your own, on your own computer, but del.icio.us dropped killer features like RSS and tagging into the mix and they innovated their way around a stagnant technology. Now I can’t walk ten feet without stumbling into someone who uses del.icio.us every single day. That’s the type of innovation I’m looking for, and the current breed of weblog search engines just doesn’t cut it for me.
Innovate, Don’t Replicate
When the team and I hung out with Adaptive Path to demo their new weblog traffic app, Measure Map, we weren’t expecting true innovation but Jeff and Lane blew us away. We can’t get into what they’re doing in detail, but believe me, Measure Map is an innovation and not a replica of anything else on the market. Now, when I think of innovative traffic-tracking applications I think of their secret project. That’s a big deal to me.
Google’s Blog Search doesn’t innovate. It reminds me of a “me too!” application since they saw Technorati was faltering a bit under extreme server load, and thought they could slide in under the radar and steal T-Rati’s market share. I don’t think it’s going to happen, because unlike when Google first came out with their search, their new Blog Search doesn’t innovate. You can sort by date or by relevance if you jump into the eyesore-ridden Advanced Blog Search, but that still doesn’t do it for me. Weblog search isn’t like regular search, and that’s what Google is trying to make it be like.
Weblog search relies on too many things to just be a rehash of a regular search. Blogs have authors, categories, different types of posts (short with a link-out, or long and thought-out, two name just two), different languages, etc. and I think some innovation is in order. When I search for 9rules on Technorati, I want to immediately find the posts that are categorized under “stupid” as well as the ones that might fall under “awesome” or “CSS”. That is, let’s use the metadata attached to every entry as another means to filter the results. Weblog posts have so much great metadata that I think using that as a way to display better results is in order.
I think it’s time for a weblog search to innovate like del.icio.us did when it launched. And since companies start up every day, my bet is someone is already working on an innovative weblog search that will eclipse them all.