Custom Search Engine for Social Networking

By jenstanjenstan (1228074853|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

The idea of having a custom search engine embedded into my wiki site sounded amazing. It would make it easy for viewers of my site wanting to learn about specific aspects of social networking to find them on sites that I deemed appropriate and useful. It would save time and organize all the sites into one nice search result. However, what sites would be relevant to search that just include social networking information??

Three Main Players

This custom search engine above searches the three sites for the main players I am researching for my term project, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. However, I don't really know how this would be useful to someone trying to become an expert in the social networking industry. While even though if I type in news I can get some search results from the websites on press releases and blogs about what's new on the sites, it really doesn't give that much relevant or useful information. However, if I searched for my name, the search engine found my facebook page. It also even found my friend's facebook page that linked to my page because I am her friend. Actually kind of creepy if you ask me.

Sites in Blogroll

Since my information resources on most of my wiki have to do with news and blogs, I thought it might be beneficial to make a custom search engine to search some of the websites in my blogroll. I have RSS feeds for these sites because they typically contain new information about the social networking industry. Therefore, someone wanting to become an expert on the field might be looking for one specific topic on these sites.

Sites included in custom search:

However, I found this search engine to not be super useful either. I tried to do example searches for a topic that someone visiting my wiki might want to know. The only queries I could really come up with were very broad, such as [news] or ["new applications"]. These results were not very useful. Most of the information updates from the social networking industry are very specific in which you would have to know the name of what you were looking for in order to search it. In this case, a custom search engine would work to give someone more information on a news item that was discovered in say an RSS feed on my blogroll. A custom search engine for social networking would not be a useful tool for the discovery of new information.

I may or may not decide to use a custom search engine in my wiki. If I do, I will definitely have to tweek my sites included more and maybe discover more useful sites to search. Hopefully this will become clearer as I continue to gather more information for my term project.

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