Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Roll your own book review search


I've been playing around with it for a few days and I think I'm finally seeing the point of Rollyo, a nice little service that lets you "roll your own" search engine. Well, what you're really "rolling" for yourself is the sites the search engine will search.

I put together a little tool for search trusted book review sites, and I've been rather pleased with the results. For example, here's a search for reviews of Thomas Pynchon's Vineland. The only thing that throws it off a bit is that I wanted to include the New York Times book reviews in my search, and by the looks of it Rollyo can't limit itself to just a portion of a site; it's apparently searching all of the NYTimes.

I'm not as excited as some of the journalists quoted on the Rollyo site who say things like "Rollyo owns me," but it's a nice service. I'm also intriqued with the possibility of using it to search sites with either nonexisting or bad built-in search facilities. One of my favorite websites, Metafilter, has a terrible search facility, so I might try Rollyo the next time I need to find something there.

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