Hidden query tip for custom Google search

· Best Practices, Weblog Concepts

Rod Kratochwill read my posts about setting up a Google search for your blog when you don’t command the entire domain name yourself. I had mentioned that my solution does put the site:blogs.salon.com and inurl:0001111 queries in the text box on the results page, which could confuse the user or even end up getting deleted, changing the scope of subsequent seaches.
Rod tells me

Here is the trick for keeping the inurl and site items out of the search input box. Use the “hq” item. I’m guessing it is the hidden query value.

His example code is like so:

<input type=hidden name="hq" value="site:radio.weblogs.com">
<input type=hidden name="hq" value="inurl:0100146">

I will add a note about this to my Fine-Tuning Custom Google Search story when I get a chance.
Having moved to my own domain recently, I’ll need to augment my current search box soon. Right now it searches the http://blogs.salon.com/0001111/ site, frozen as of October 24, and will find nothing sooner. (I maintained all the old pages so as to make any unupdted old links continue to work.)
I’m not even sure Google has indexed http://radiofreeblogistan.com/ yet, but soon I should add an option for searching the new domain. When the index gets deep enough, I’ll deprecate and probably eventually remove (or keep on a subpage) the old blogs.salon.com search.

Finally getting around to learning Radio's outliner

· Best Practices, Weblog Concepts

I’ve never been that happy with my blogrolling.com blogrolls. The service is easy enough. Too easy, in a sense, in that it’s undermined my motivation to learn more about the best ways to present links and directory information in this weblog context.
Also, it relies on Javascript, which makes the links invisible to some crawlers (such as that used by Blogstreet.com last time I checked).
So I finally started reading up on Radio’s outliner feature, and found Jake Savin’s How to create a blogroll with Radio’s outliner tutorial to be succinct and easy to follow.
If all goes well, my “test.opml” blogroll file should show up near the bottom of my sidebar masthead column.
I’ve also finally downloaded and installed activeRenderer. That was also ridiculously easy. So I’ll see about rendering my links that way (as a collapsible outline).
My next steps include will be to convert my blogrolling.com blogrolls to OPML, playing around with activeRenderer, importing some of my ancient bookmarks, and making my blogroll.opml file findable to crawlers with the proper LINK syntax in the HEAD of my template.
I forget what it is, but I know I bookmarked it somewhere.

Microsoft's killer weblog app?

· Best Practices, Weblog Concepts

Thanks to a tip from Rebecca Blood, I read the article by Anil Dash in his cool new magazine. He writes about MS SharePoint Team Services and its “list” feature, which incorporates most or all of the functionality of weblogs for an intranet environment.
I remember when the portal brand of SharePoint was supposed to be MS’s entry into the enterprise portal market and I’m not sure what really came of that. I would appear that this use of STS, even if split off from the other collaborative, project-management features, would pose a threat mainly to Radio’s penetration into the corporate market (if at all—I doubt it competes on price!).
It definitely bears watching, since everyone’s been looking over their shoulder in this market for a long time.
Here’s part of Anil’s conclusion:

So how serious is the threat? To the overwhelming majority of personal weblog communities existing today, SharePoint is probably not going to have an impact in the short term. It’s possible that Microsoft will realize the potential of their bCentral service hosting SharePoint sites, and that the MSN team will seize the opportunity to improve the friendliness of the interface and turn it into a commercial mass-market product. The likelihood of that, however, is completly negligible. On the business side, though, Microsoft has pieces in place that put it a full year ahead of any competitor in the areas of network identity integration, document management, and project management functions. This advantage is probably negated by the significantly higher platform costs of a solution that requires a Windows server, even if there are no per-client costs.