By samoore (1251644910|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)
After learning about custom search engines, I thought I would try out a popular tool called RollYO. Basically, it allows its users to create any search engine they’d like or use search engines created by other RollYO users. One feature that I found particularly cool as a Firefox user is that you can create custom RollYO’s and use them in the search box of your Firefox browser! I know that I use that little box to search all the time, so the idea of being able to make it even more efficient by making more exact search engines is pretty cool.
So, just for fun and in the spirit of election night, I thought I would make a RollYO to search for Barack Obama. But, to make things more interesting, I am not going to put any news sites in it. When I run my search, it will only be on blogging websites I know a lot of young people use so that I can see what the general population has to say about the election.
Looking for Something Different
This is the list of sites I gave it to search:
Basically, those are the only blogging sites that I know a ton about. Additionally, I know they are used by a ton of random people, hopefully leading to more interesting results.
So, I enter my search… “Barack Obama”
HA! Yes! Just what I was looking for! I doubt a blog called “Is Barack Obama the Messiah” would be the first return of a general search for Barack Obama on Google.
Sing for Change chronicles a recent Sunday afternoon, when 22 children, ages 5-12, gathered to sing original songs in the belief that their singing would lift up our communities for the coming election. Light, hope, courage and love shine through these nonvoting children who believe that their very best contribution to the Obama campaign is to sing.
Yup. This is definitely interesting. What else is there?
OH WOW! What do you know? Just one site above, Barack Obama was the Messiah… Now? He’s the Anti-Christ.
Well, like I said before… These definitely are not the typical things I have been seeing about America’s newest President on sites like CNN.
Evaluation of the Tools
To be perfectly honest, when I heard about custom search engines I was not really sure what good they were. I mean, can’t I just customize my search query in Google? Then I thought about it some more and realized that if I had known about these tools before election week, I could have created a RollYO to search interesting blogs all along. Typing in site:www.livejournal.com site:www.blurty.com site:www.blogger.com site:www.blogspot.com every time I want to run this search is a lot less convenient than just setting up a custom search to use continuously.
Overall, I give the genre a big "thumbs up". For the avid web surfer, especially someone that focuses in on a specific topic or type of website, I'd say setting up a custom search engine can make your life, like, at least 100 times easier, more accurate, and maybe even more fun.