We have released the first beta version of BlawgSearch.com for searching legal blogs… and our first alpha version of Blawgs.fm for searching legal podcasts and blog posts with audio or video media files attached.
Blawg Search. BlawgSearch.com allows legal researchers to search over a 1,000 editorially selected legal blogs. The database is updated throughout the day with new posts. BlawgSearch.com allows you to sort your search results by relevance or posting date, and you can subscribe to RSS feeds of your searches, to continuously track newly updated posts that match your search terms.
On the search front, we will be adding some advanced search functionality, as well as some other core functionality and features… but more on those when they are ready.
Blawg Directory. We also provide a directory of blawgs by subject category and locality (state and country) focus, as well links to other Blawg directories like Blawg.com’s Blawg directory. This may be helpful in finding other legal blogs on a topic you are interested in. We are still fixing up the categories somewhat (Antitrust will be its own category soon :), but it is a pretty good start.
Blawg Rankings. Everyone loves rankings (except Michigan Football). We rank the blogs on a variety of factors, including how often a blog is clicked on in a search result or directory listing and the last post date (blogs with more recent posts are valued higher). Clicks from different parts of the site (eg top ranked blawgs on the home page, search results, blawg directory pages) are attributed different values. And there are some click spam protections built in. The overall system algorithm is still being fine tuned somewhat, but it seems to be working pretty well.
We still have 1000s of more legal blogs to check out in the weeks ahead.
If you have or know of a legal subject matter blog you think should be included, please click here and fill out a form to suggest the blog. We are very focused of adding more blogs into the directory.
While working on BlawgSearch.com, we noticed that we could tell from the RSS feeds when there were audio or video files. So we added some small icons to indicate there was a multimedia file, and then added a flash player so people could quickly listen to audio of a particular post right there in the search results. But on BlawgSearch.com, the audio or video files would only show up once in awhile in the search results*.
So we made Blawgs.fm, a new search interface for searching blawg posts with multimedia files. Blawgs.fm searches all of the posts that are included in BlawgSearch.com, but just returns those posts that have multimedia files attached to them.
In addition we have started a legal podcast/vidcast directory categorized by subject and locality, and a ranking of the podcasts (like BlawgSearch.com). The podcast directory only includes blogs that are either focused on providing multimedia content (like Coast to Coast) or primarily text based but have a substantial number of multimedia posts (like Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground). If we were able to find a special podcast feed (like the Stark & Stark’s New Jersey Law Blog’s Podcast feed) we included that podcast feed in addition to the general blog feed.
But again, not all of the search results will be from blogs that are in this podcast directory. The search will have results from blogs that might not be podcast blogs, but have a multimedia post or two.
You can listen to audio files for a particular post using the flash player if you wish. What is nice about this, is that you can do a search and see what individual podcast posts have matching descriptions. Then you could either visit the original podcast page or do a quick listen using the flash player before deciding to subscribe to the full podcast. I have found it useful in finding new podcasts, and I will bet others will too.
And like the BlawgSearch.com, we are also looking for more legal Podcasts to add into the directory. So if you have a legal Podcast you like us to add please click here on the Podcast and fill out the Podcast suggestion form.
Ok… that is it for now. We will announce some more features in the near future…
Peace – Tim
* We will include the media search only functionality into the advanced search options of BlawgSearch.com as well, but we thought it would be nice if there was site that just searched multimedia files from the get-go, and thus Blawgs.FM is being launched as a separate site.