Most regular readers of this blog/newsletter will already be familiar with blog search tools. If not, take a few minutes to visit some of the sites I have listed below. While Google is an excellent search engine, they treat content as an indexed product…resulting in a discoverability delay of up to thirty days (more popular sites are crawled and indexed more frequently). A really interesting sense of “what’s happening right now” can be gained from visiting blog search engines. These search tools allow an individual to “step into the flow of knowledge” and experience what people are saying right now.
I have made a habit over the last year of following conversations around connectivism and elearnspace (among others, obviously). A huge shift has occured. Previously, if someone wanted to contact me, they had to email, post on my blog (comments are once again disabled due to spam), or send a trackback to the post. With blog search engines, they don’t have to make any direct effort to make others aware of their thoughts…they simply have to make their opinions transparent on a blog. The blog search engines provide relatively quick “findability” (usually within an hour) of posts that carry topcis I follow. This is a substantial change in information access. Take a few minutes and search for your company/school in these engines, and contrast the results with Google/Yahoo. (Google/Yahoo treat the content as a product to access, blog engines treat the content as a stream):