|Lijit as a “me collector” — see it in action in my sidebar.|
Yesterday I finally got around to implementing the Lijit search widget on this blog. I didn’t realize until I started playing around with the widget settings that this cool little tool actually goes a long way toward being the kind of “me collector” I’ve been wanting.
Over the summer I wrote a post, I want one place for all my content: Pipe dream?, where I bemoaned the fact that since most of my work is distributed across various sites, forums, services, and social networks, it sometimes is hard for me to find and retrieve my own work.
Lijit allows me to create a search box that works across any collection of sites and accounts that I specify. You can now see it in action on the top of this blog’s sidebar. I have Lijit set to search the archives not only of Contentious.com, but also content I’ve posted on several services (my accounts on Del.icio.us, Flickr, Furl, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Furthermore, it’ll also search my other projects such as The Right Conversation, I, Reporter, Boulder Carbon Tax Tracker, and more. I’ve also included the group weblogs E-Media Tidbits and SEJ2007, to which I’ve posted considerable content — although search results will pull up other folks’ contributions to those sites. And I’ve included my feed from Co.mments, the comment-tracking service where I track conversations I’ve joined on other blogs. (There again, Lijit returns comments by others in those threads, but my stuff is definitely included).
So now I can more easily find all of my stuff — and so can anyone who uses that search widget. Just remember that when you use my Lijit search, “blog” refers only to content on Contentious.com, while “content” pulls from all those resources I mentioned.
Also, I can update, add, or delete resources for my Lijit search widget and not have to generate new code and copy it to my site. I update my profile on Lijit, and the widget starts pulling from my updates list of resources. Way cool. Less hassle for me.
Plus Lijit gives me interesting search stats, too. That’s all free.
My “me collector” dream is still not completely fulfilled, however…
Ultimately I’d like to see Lijit combine with an personal archiving service (such as Furl) so that the service would save a copy of any new content from my Lijit-connected accounts, sites, and feeds. Because what if del.icio.us dies someday? What if someone hacks my blog again and destroys all my content? (Well, I have a backup plugin for WordPress, but you get the picture…) I’d probably pay for that kind of master archive service, if it was truly automated and reliable.
I’d also like to be able to specify specific pages to be collected — like if I contribute a one-time post to another site. I wouldn’t want to pull everything from that site, just my post.
Finally, I’d like to be able to have a private Lijit widget either online or for the Mac dashboard, or maybe integrated with Mac’s spotlight search. This would allow me to search private resources in addition to public ones — such as a private blog, or content posted anonymously or under a pseudonym, or maybe even integrate my Gmail and chat logs into it.
This is a very, very good start, IMHO. Thanks, Lijit! I’m sure there will be downsides to this service eventually, and I’ll report on them too. But for now, I’m pretty pleased.
Do you use Lijit’s search widget? What do you think of it? Please comment below.