Identifying top blogs in any niche

ReadWriteWeb offers an article Comparing Six Ways to Identify Top Blogs in Any Niche.The 6 methods, and their top finds for the “medical libraries” niche:

Technorati (search “medical libraries”)

del.icio.us (search “medical libraries blogs”)

StumbleUpon

  • The StumbleUpon website has a search feature as well as a tag cloud for “most popular.” The search “medical libraries” turned up Stanford School of Medicine’s library catalog; “medical library” turned up an X-rated site, a site about Native Americans, and Medem. No blogs.
  • This is available as a Firefox add-on. “Library resources” was available as a category, and it pulled up interesting/fun posts such as Hot Library Smut (nothing to do with sex or nudity, honest!) and Librarian’s Internet Index . An interesting discovery tool, but maybe not one to try at work.

Google Reader Recommendations

Recommendations are based on the reader’s interests, as determined by the blogs currently subscribed to in Google Reader. Recommendations are generated by comparing my subscriptions with the subscriptions of others with similar interests; rather like Amazon.com’s “others who bought this item also bought…” I cleaned out my selection of fun but irrelevant sites for this experiment and waited a day for the recommendations to update.

Recommendations for my mix of interests:
(Note that these links, provided by Google Reader, are to the RSS feeds)

    AideRSS

    This tool bills itself as “an intelligent assistant that saves time and keeps you on top of the latest news.” It filters blogs or RSS feeds to identify the “best posts.” It can be used as a feed reader; import your RSS feeds from your current reader to have everything filtered, or export the feed back to your feed reader to have the advantage of filtering in the feed interface you prefer to use.

    For this article, I asked AideRSS to analyse a few feeds that I often look at. I did not set up a personal account to help define my individual interests. What I found was, “best posts” were defined by number of del.icio.us links, comments, and Digg hits.

    Ask.com Blogsearch

    Ask.com’s search page includes an icon for limiting searches to blogs. Results screens offer “top feeds” recommendations and tabs to select “Posts,” “Feeds” or “News. “Subscribe” buttons make it easy to add blogs to a feed reader.

    Searching “medical libraries” (phrase search with quote marks) pulled up a mixed bag of posts. The “top feeds” (not as helpful as I had hoped):

    The “Post” tabs pulled up a number of blog sites that might prove useful, though. The first five today:

    • MARquee – NNLM Mid Atlantic Region blog
    • Science Library Pad
    • UW-Madison SLISI, a post about John Halamka’s editorial in ComputerWorld
    • A link to a description of Cheryl Dee’s article “Chat Reference Service in Medical Libraries: Part 1- An Introduction.” in Medical Reference Services Quarterly in an Ebsco database
    • A link to the above mentioned Haworth Press page.

    So, finding great blogs on the topic of your choice remains a treasure hunt. Happy hunting! (Cue the Indiana Jones theme.)

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