We’ve been working on a Weblog Directory and Indexing Engine. I’ve done a niche directory and search engine once before: Khoj, which focused on India, was launched in March 1997. There are some sites already for blogs which aggregate listings and links, namely Daypop, Blogdex, Weblogs.com, among others. Nick Denton’s planning one too. So, what are our plans and what is it that we will do differently?
The Basics: We have to get the basics right. This means launching with the following: a directory of a few hundred blogs, classified into categories (or interests), a search which first looks at the entries and then the botted pages from the blogs (based on both keywords and URLs), updation (add, edit, delete, move, suggest), a blog daily which talks about what’s new in the world of blogs (a bit on the lines of Corante’s MicroContentNews but also focusing more on the weblogs themselves), a reference section and same basic link analysis on the lines of Daypop and Blogdex. Once we do all this, we are ready for launch. We’ve got about 150 blogs categorised, the botting begins shortly, the search engine is based on htdig. We are hoping to launch before May-end. This, though, is just the start — “hygeine”.
Next Steps: There are a number of tracks we intend to work on once the site is launched: grow the listing of blogs (hopefully, with suggestions from readers), focus on the clusters and group networks that blogs enable, enable personalisation and make it two-way. I’ll talk more about these topics in the coming weeks.
BlogStreet builds on a theme I like: value-added aggregation. While a Google is always going to be around, there is plenty of room for smaller, niche, nimble players who can focus on doing one thing and doing it well. Its, in Winer’s world, BigCos vs the ISVs, a Microsoft vs Userland. The SmallCo can carve out its own space in the world, and thats exactly what we hope BlogStreet will do in the intersected world of Blogs and Search.
My belief is that blogging is not a fad but is something much more fundamental. It is a very fascinating world of networks and (micro)communities which is being formed. [See: Blogging: an introduction and overview, Emerging Enterprises and Emergent Networks (in this I talk about Knowledge Blogs), and India’s Next Decade (one of the articles in this as part of the discussion on the next WWW is on Weblogs).]
By creating a blog-specific portal, we are hoping we will get recognition and noticed in the right circles (!) globally. It is not necessary for us to be only in US or Europe to be at the cutting edge of the New WWW. Ours is a test case in itself: can a small company out of an emerging market like India use knowledge combined with innovative and entrepreneurial thinking to build out its business. I’ve learnt a lot reading Dave Winer’s Scripting.comin the past year: my goal is to make Emergic.Org and BlogStreet as must-see sites daily for people, wherever they are.