According to an Associated Press report this morning, Google has just introduced a specialty search engine which sifts through millions of frequently-updated personal journals called “blogs,” (such as this one), a long-anticipated development which is expected to help propel blogging even further into the cultural mainstream.
The new tool, unveiled Wednesday at http://blogsearch.google.com, focuses exclusively on the material contained in the journals known as Web logs, or “blogs.”
Google, the Internet’s general search engine leader, first set its sights on blogs with its 2003 acquisition of a small startup called Blogger that makes software to publish and manage the journals. Since that deal, Google had been expected to build a blogging-focused search engine — a mission finally accomplished by a group of by developers in the company’s New York office.
Over the past two years, blogs have become an increasingly popular vehicle for sharing opinions and information, sometimes breaking news and more often prodding the mainstream media into reconsidering how it has handled some big stories. First word of Google’s new searching tool was, in fact, disseminated by a blog.
No one knows for certain just how big the so-called “blogosphere” has become. Technorati, the niche’s top search engine so far, says it indexes 17.1 million sites spanning about 1.5 billion links. Despite blogging’s steady growth, its appeal has remained narrow, skewing primarily to younger audiences and technological trendsetters.
But given Google’s broad reach, its specialty search engine is expected to provide blogging with additional momentum. Google said the tool would allow searches not just for blogs written in English but also in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese and other languages.
GBNAM executive director Tim Boal first called this new development to our attention. A quick search by entering “Grace Brethren” into the new tool surfaced postings by most of the Grace Brethren blogs on which we report, and those to which we call your attention. But additional blogs, primarily from individuals who attend Grace Brethren churches, also appeared, and they make for some very interesting reading.
This blog will continue to aggregate general news stories of Grace Brethren churches and people around the world, which we assess to have the most import and interest to the Fellowship’s reading audience.