A Better Book > SearchingFebruary 10, 2007
I've mentioned before that you never really feel done writing a book. I have no doubt that I would still be working on it right now if there weren't contracts and official deadlines involved. I'm sure this is the case even if you're writing historical fiction, but it's especially true when the book involves technology. Blogging has already changed quite a bit since the final draft was turned in last summer with new tools, companies, and ways to use a blog. For this very reason, I tried to avoid focusing too much on technical how-to's and there are no screenshots of applications. I didn't want the book to seem outdated the moment it hit the shelf.
Here's a quick example: the book mentioned the blog search company PubSub more than once. Thankfully, I was able to remove them in the final round of editing when they went out of business.
Since the book is now available and there's no turning back, I thought I'd periodically post some updates, changes, improvements, and corrections. The first topic is blog searches.
In the book, I recommend Technorati many times as the best way to track what people are saying about your church, organization, or yourself. In fact, using the handy index all of you recommended, I mention them exactly 9 times. Technorati provides a good blog search engine and also rank blogs by authority (primarly links). It's a good tool, but in my opinion it has since been surpassed by Google's Blog Search.
Whereas Technorati's site is often quite slow, the results not terribly current, and the display a bit cluttered and cumbersome, Google's Blog Search is extremely fast, up-to-the-minute, and the results are displayed in the simple, clean interface we already know and love. You can also subscribe to receive a daily email summary for any search phrase. You can find every link to a website or search for a specific phrase.
Unfortunately, Google doesn't currently offer the ability to subscribe to an RSS feed of the search results like Technorati, but I don't consider that a requirement. Besides, Technorati's RSS version includes so many duplicates each day that it is more frustrating than helpful. Google's email alerts are top-notch.
Technorati still provides a decent service, but make sure you give Google's tool a try if you haven't already. It's the best way I know to listen to what people are saying about your organization online.