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:
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:
- The site must be about application delivery.
- 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.