It’s somewhat ironic that after having finally settled on a blogroll length of manageable size and purpose (namely, just the blogs I read on a regular basis), my embrace of a RSS feed reader essentially rendered the idea of a blogroll moot. But as a reference of sites I recommend, it still has value. I find myself relying on the sites on my blogroll almost exclusively when researching anime series to watch, as well as finding the diversity of topics beyond anime very well-matched to my tastes (such as games, movies, science fiction, etc). I have increasingly found myself doing custom google searches on site:chizumatic.mee.nu or site:nickistre.net etc etc all the time, which became somewhat cumbersome. So, in search of a better solution, I decided to roll my own search engine for my personal slice of the Otakusphere. Using Google’s backend, now, the search box on Haibane.info searches every site on my blogroll (see the Otakusphere section on the sidebar to the right). You can also access the Otakusphere search engine directly without visiting Haibane.info by visiting http://bit.ly/otakusphere ((which redirects to a very ugly Google URL. The google folks very badly need to read this screed by Dave Winer on the topic)). You can even embed the search box on your own site – see below the fold for the relevant HTML code for cut and paste.
The Otakusphere search is of course very highly tuned to my needs and tastes. However i do want it to be of more general use, so i woudl like to solicit suggestions for high-value sites in the Otakusphere for inclusion. I’m looking for sites that have a lot of in-depth reviews of anime titles in particular. Note that since most of the sites I am already including tend to link to smaller sites with detailed reviews ((particularly Pete at Ani-nouto, who is very skilled at finding excellent quality reviews from the furthest reaches of the Otakusphere)), these sites will get indexed too, since the Otakusphere search also indexes pages linked from the core sites. Still, there must be other great aggregators of reviews out there that i’ve missed, so please do let me know.
I assume that very few people are going to use this as often as I do. In a sense, by using it I am being counterproductive since searches on my site will now lead more often away from my content than towards it. Still, since I blog primarily for my own benefit, that’s exactly the way i want it to behave. I hope it’s of some use to others as well.
This is the code to embed the Otakusphere search engine:
<form action="http://www.google.com/cse" id="cse-search-box">
<input type="hidden" name="cx" value="001005190038260932801:cwnfwjbqv5e" />
<input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" />
<input type="text" name="q" size="31" />
<input type="submit" name="sa" value="Search" />
You can also just link to http://bit.ly/otakusphere instead.