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Introducing 9rules Search: Member Content Plus A Whole Lot More

(Quick query links: iPod Shuffle, President Bush, Paris Hilton, Ferrari)

Since November 2005 we’ve been storing our member’s content in our database because we knew at some point we’d have a pretty good amount of data to work with through search and other means. The first year or so of 9rules existence was about grouping great content together, and if I had to categorize the next year I’d say our goal is to now distribute this content in interesting and meaningful ways and 9rules Search is the start of this next big push. We have over 31,000 articles to work with (growing hourly), along with thousands of Notes entries, and we’re focused on bringing that content to users in ways that make the most sense to them. If I had to define Web 2.0 using the most simplest terms, I’d say that it’s just about giving people interactive and personalized access to the content they value.

9rules Search took about 3 full days of work spread out over 3 weeks, and the entire application is only a few hundred lines of PHP thanks to the wonders of open APIs and RSS. Here are some features:

  • Sorts 9rules matches by Title and Content, with each group sorted by freshness. We perform a literal query match on your search term so “prototype” is better than “prototype javascript library” and “iTV” is better than “Apple iTV coming in Spring hopefully”.
  • Additional matches are displayed in a panel that can be slid up or down depending on if you’re interested in digging deeper through the results.
  • Communities are integrated: go directly to the Community associated with that particular entry if you want to read more on that topic.
  • If there aren’t many 9rules matches then we pull in results from Technorati. (Technorati API is really slow so it might take a little bit of time to load, soon we’ll load them via Ajax like the other results so it doesn’t hog the page load.)
  • Flickr images are displayed in the sidebar as a 4×4 grid collage, each image is clickable and can be seen full-size.
  • YouTube videos are displayed under Flickr with title, length, username and rating information alongside a thumbnail.
  • Flickr and YouTube results are pulled in via Ajax so they don’t disrupt the page load time, note the cool spinner!

I’d like to go into the technical aspects of Search, but not right now… we’re still tweaking and fixing stuff 🙂 Obviously some oddities might still be in there so please let us know if you find anything! Enjoy!

Digg it up!