Comment Search – What’s taking so long?
Before I get to the point of this post, I just have say that I really like the Performancing extension for Firefox, but for some reason it stopped functioning. Performancing came out with their 1.0.1 version with some nice new additions, but when I downloaded and installed it, it didn’t work. The little pad of paper and pencil in the bottom right of the browser is gone. The right-click “blog this” functionality is gone. And, it still says that the extension will be installed when I exit the browser and re-open it. Right, did that already. Oh well. Not that big of a deal really. It’s a nice extension, but I can certainly get by without it. We all did before, no?
Anyway, on to something else. I was doing some lazy day reading today, catching up on some of the blogs that I usually follow but just haven’t had the time to keep track of anymore and took the time to read some of Steve Rubel’s thoughts over at Micropersuasion on what we can expect in 2006. Not bad, Steve, not bad. I especially agree with this statement:
“Still, shockingly, every single blog search engine is missing out on the next great opportunity. They’re focusing solely on searching blogs. They’re building great tools for bloggers, but they’re failing to recognize that what we all need is a way to search the entire conversation. This is where the blog search war will be fought in the months ahead.”
This could not be more true. In some blogosphere monitoring we do for various clients, comments are a huge part of measuring the pulse or sentiment of those writing about the company or product. Is it a tedious process milling through all of the comments to find those two or three nice nuggets? You bet it is. Are comments invaluable sources of feedback that only extend the long tail of conversations in the blogosphere? Hell yes they are.
It is almost an understatement to say that someone already in the game of blog search – Technorati, Google, Yahoo!, Ice Rocket (come on Mark!) – or some new startup or other innovative company needs to step up and fill a great need. Mining blog posts for valuable comment content is a process that we surely will see simplified in the future, maybe even next year. But I still can’t get away from one question: what is taking so long?
In my mind, the logical progression was, first, internet search, then blog search, but with that did not come comment search. They’re part of the postings, blogs, and most importantly, the conversation. This means they have to be part of search, and they definitely have to part of measurment. To ignore comments is like listening to a telephone conversation, but only hearing one end of it and not asking what the person on the other end said. We know what the long tail is, so why can’t we measure it? It’s coming, I know.
On a side note: when speaking of measurement, how come there is such a notable difference between the results of “trend” searches on Ice Rocket and that of Technorati? Maybe what is needed is a little bit of collaborative innovation. Psh, that probably won’t ever happen, but one can hope.
Filed under: Blog Search, Blogging, Google, Search, Technorati, Yahoo | 25 Comments