A few months ago, David Rothman asked me if there was any tool for searching the biblioblogosphere. At the time, there really wasn’t much. I told him about LISFeeds, but explained that its search functionality was very limited. And that was the last I heard on the subject from him until a few days ago when he sent me a link to LibWorm, an amazing search tool that he created with Frankie Dolan of MedWorm. LibWorm searches over 1,000 feeds from the blogosphere and related Websites.
Some very cool things about it:
- RSS feeds for every search you do. Want to create an ego feed for your name? See when other librarians write about LibWorm or GoogleCSE or wikis? Just do a search and subscribe to the feed, baby!
- The ability to search by date or by relevance. That’s very important when you want to see the most recent posts on a subject.
- Feed Categories – groups of blogs and other sites gathered together by categories that David assigned to them and that can be browsed as a group. Not sure if they can be searched separately from the other blogs and Web sites, but that would definitely be cool. You can subscribe to each of these groupings, so if you wanted to receive podcasts from all academic libraries, you could easily do that with a single RSS feed. HOT!
- Subjects – pre-made searches for certain subjects such as Library 2.0, wikis, ALA, and OPAC. Rather than searching just for wikis, the wikis search searches for wikis, wiki, wikipedia, etc. And of course, you can subscribe to each of these searches.
- LibWorm has a built-in aggregator function where you can subscribe to feeds and read them right in LibWorm.
I think Technorati is great for a lot of things, but when I subscribed to a search for wikis there, I ended up with a ridiculous amount of stuff that was totally irrelevant to what I really was looking for. Considering the limited net this search engine is casting, the results are much more likely to be relevant. Congratulations to David and Frankie! You have created an amazing resource for the library community!