I was intrigued when I saw this blog post from the littera scripta blog. The post references this article, from the Online Education Database, which lists the top 25 librarian blogs, scored by Google PageRank, Alexa Rank, Technorati Authority, and Bloglines Subscribers.
Wanting to stay current re discussions of federated search in the blogosphere, I was curious to do my own ranking of these blogs to see which ones referred to federated search the most. So, I went down the list and searched for the quoted phrase, “federated search”, in each of the 25 winning blogs. I realize that this is not a very rigorous assessment; in particular I’m aware that “distributed search”, “metasearch”, and other terms are often used to mean the same thing. I also realize that number of hits is not the best indicator of relevance; a new blog might refer to federated search a lot yet not have as many total hits as an established blog that only occasionally refers to federated search. Yes, this is not a scientific study.
So, what did I find in my simple-minded assessment of the top 25 librarian blogs? Here are the blogs that referenced federated search at least once, ordered by number of references.
LibrarianInBlack – 9 references
Confessions of a Science Librarian – 8 references
Free Range Librarian – 5 references
The Krafty Librarian – 5 references
The shifted librarian – 4 references
The Days & Nights of the Lipstick Librarian – 3 references
The Ubiquitous Librarian – 3 references
Connie Crosby – 2 references
The Handheld Librarian – 2 references
Law Librarian Blog – 2 references
The Other Librarian – 2 references
Jason the Content Librarian – 1 reference
librarian.net – 1 reference
Vancouver Law Librarian Blog – 1 reference
So, what did I learn? Well, watching the most popular library blogs according to the Online Education Database, for the most part, won’t get me many references to federated search unless the trend to covering federated search in libraries increases. Even LibrarianInBlack’s winning nine references to federated search span four years. And, the eight runner-up references in Confessions of a Science Librarian go back over three years.
So, are the librarians with the biggest reach in their blogs not interested in federated search? Do they use other terms? Is the methodology used by the Online Education Database skewed away from blogs that would use the term a lot?
I noticed that, in order to even be considered for inclusion in the “top 25” list, librarian blogs had to be listed in DMOZ. Well, that certainly biases things as getting into DMOZ is a hit-or-miss activity and I’m sure there are many bloggers out there who don’t know about DMOZ or don’t bother to submit entries there.
A Google blog search for “federated search” yields 2,746 results. Thus, there aren’t tons of references to the phrase in the blogosphere. And, 60 of those 2,746 results are from this blog. In Technorati, by the way, I’ve never been able to get a phrase search to work, even in their advanced search page.
So, what’s my conclusion? This blog is a great asset for those seeking federated search information. Other blogs cover the industry occasionally. I may need to search on a variety of other terms to squeeze out blog posts I wouldn’t see otherwise. The Google blog alerts I have set up are probably my greatest asset in keeping a pulse on what the bloggers are saying about federated search.
What blogs do you frequent for information about federated search in the library community and beyond?
Tags: federated search