Search the websites of the entire Application Delivery community from BrianMadden.com

A few months ago, Google introduced a cool feature that lets people build their own custom search engines.

A few months ago, Google introduced a cool feature that lets people build their own custom search engines. What this means is that you can have a normal-looking Google search box that only returns results from a list of websites that you specify.

To that end, I have built a custom search engine that searches all of the application delivery community sites. It searches community sites like brianmadden.com, printingsupport.com, citrixcommunity.com, as well as the invidual sites of thought leaders in our community, like ThomasKoetzing.de and JasonConger.com. (There are currently about 20 sites in this community search engine, and I'll add more as I come across them.)

This "entire community" search is available via the standard search bar in the upper right corner of every page at BrianMadden.com. (In addition to the "this site" and "entire community" search options, you can also select "Doc #" where you can type in the numeric Doc ID# of an article you want to jump to on BrianMadden.com.)

I've been using the community search for a while now, and I really like it. My first thought was, "Why would I want to limit my search to just a few sites instead of the entire Internet?" After all, isn't that increasing the risk that I might miss something? Then again, I started to think about what I care about in this industry. There are definitely 10 or 20 or 30 people in our community who share their opinions on their sites regularly, and a lot of times when I'm searching for something, these are the people whose stuff I want to find anyway. It's also nice to have "automatic" context to searches. (For example, Citrix names its upcoming versions of Presentation Server after rivers. If you want information about their upcoming Project Ohio, what would you rather search: The entire web or these 20 community sites?)

This community search engine treats all sites equally--it's not skewed towards BrianMadden.com or anything, so search away in unbiased bliss!

Here are the sites that are currently part of the community search engine:

www.ronoglesby.com
www.jaytomlin.com/blog
www.tmurgent.com
www.jasonconger.com
sbc.vanbragt.net
blogs.msdn.com/ts
citrite.org
www.printingsupport.com
www.wtstek.com
www.msterminalservices.org
www.briforum.com
www.sessioncomputing.com
www.sbcgatekeeper.com
www.frameworkx.com
blogs.sun.com/roller/page/ThinGuy
www.thomaskoetzing.de
citrixcommunity.com
www.datacrash.net
www.brianmadden.com

If you have an idea for a site I should add, send me an email or post a comment. The only deal with adding sites is that:

  1. The site must be about application delivery.
  2. The site must have original content.

The main impact of this is that we're not going to add sites that are nothing more than blogs that just say "Hey, look what so-and-so posted on his site," since those sites whould just get in the way of the sites with real content, and it's annoying to click on a search result just to have that take you to a page which makes you click again to get to the original article.

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Hi,
 
www.softgridguru.com also has great content!.
 
It's the Microsoft SoftGrid forum!.
 
With regards,
Ruben Spruijt
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Where the hell is DABCC.COM?
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Well, if you look at the two requirements, one of them is that I only want to include original content. For news aggregator sites like DABCC, ThinComputing.net, CitrixThings.com, etc. that just cut and paste news from other sites, I am hesitant to include them because I don't want people to search and find a "link to a link," especially if the original site is also included in the community search scope.

I liken this to Google News. If I want to make a news-based custom search, I would include ABC, NBC, CNN, BBC, etc. I wouldn't include news.google.com in my search because any search results from that site would just be "links to links" of the original content anyway.

Of course DABCC has the Methodology-in-a-Box (MIAB) which is cool. Unfortunately it's only available via a ZIP file (not HTML or PDF), so it's not indexable or searchable.

That said, I am interested in including as much original content as I can in this search engine. I just went to DABCC to look for original content and to see if it's differentiated in such a way that I can narrow it down by URL. If you dig deeper than the news section on the front page, there is a white papers section that has a decent number of papers that aren't available elsewhere. (Unfortunately it also has a lot of vendor papers from the site's sponsors, but they all come from the same URL prefixes so I can't include just original papers without getting the sponsor papers too.)

Even so, I've added the URLs http://www.dabcc.com/Knowledgeportalserver/download/ and http://www.dabcc.com/downloadfile.aspx to the community search engine. That should pick up the original content from DABCC. And of course if they ever post MIAB as a direct PDF or web page, I'll add that too!

Brian
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Brian,

Without going in to the value of an aggregate, I will just answer the questions about original content.
DABCC.com has a lot of original content but it is not organized in one place as it is organized by topic and tag.   
DABCC.com also has a very large amount of downloads.  OF course not every one of those downloads were written by us but nor should they be.  They can be found at:  http://www.dabcc.com/downloads
Methodology in a Box has been available for free download via pdf for 4 years and the pdf is easily indexed and we have also spent a lot of time breaking out the books in to HTML files so they can be indexed and hence searched upon.  They can be located at:
http://www.dabcc.com/miab/ - on the left side of the page is all the pdfs to the four versions of MIAB available today.
http://www.dabcc.com/miab/miab40/ - some draft docs for MIAB 4.0
http://www.dabcc.com/miab/miab30/ , http://www.dabcc.com/miab/miab21/,  and http://www.dabcc.com/miab/miab10/ - links on the left side of each page are the MIAB book broken down by section and sub-section into html pages so someone could find it through a search engine like what you have built or Google.
 
All in all, the goal for dabcc.com from January 1999 to today has always been the same and that is to create a place where someone can come to and find the info they need.  If that info was written by me then cool, if that info was written by you then cool, if that info was written by person x or y then that is great too but the goal would have been achieved.  It allows someone to come to a site like DABCC.com and can find the info they are looking for so they can research a product purchase or track down a utility that will make their life simpler or to find a tech article that will solve a problem.  All in all, it helps.   In many ways it is a lot like the search you just built, after all if I search for X I will find items on other peoples sites and that goes against it being 100% original content, it is a double hop, but who cares if it takes two clicks to find the answer to a question, we only care if we find the answer.  Hence the goal, to create a portal for people to find what they are looking for and find it fast!!!  

DB

Douglas Brown
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Sounds good Doug. I just added /miab and /downloads to this community search engine. Please let me know if I've missed any other URLs!

And don't worry about the value of the news aggregator thing.. I wasn't saying they had no value. I was saying that I don't think they should be searched for content when the original sources are searchable. Continuing with my news.google.com analogy from above, I would still visit the site to see what's new, even if I didn't include it in my search catalog.

Brian
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What happened to Softgridguru? Did someone jack the domain or is it closed?
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It's working.  I just accessed the link I have on my website and it resolved okay.
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Wierd, for most of the day it was www.rapidapp.com. Good thing its back!
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Maybe someone at RapidApp owns softgridguru.com.  RapidApp is where Ron Oglesby works.
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Yeah, softgridguru.com is Ron's site. Ruben administers it for him.

Brian
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From the Database.net crew I wanted to write a brief thank you that you included us into your search. It's a big compliment for us that were included. We will keep up the work and share all the knowledge we find with the rest of the various communities there are today.
 
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You mean datacrash.net, right?

Yeah I like your site.. lots of good original stuff.
Brian
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Yes I mean datacrash.net :) I am the founder of datacrash but with new crewmembers we are in an elevator straight up what visitors concerned. We try to be original and post only articles that we wrote ourselfes, sometimes articles are so darn good we just copy first part and link the rest but that happens less and less.
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