Monday, June 12, 2017

Searching the blog for info

I have a question for the blog! If this has been covered I couldn't figure out the search terms to find it.

I've been remiss in labeling posts, and labels aren't as helpful as a good keyword search.

When you search for a post, use google. Type in "Janet Reid" and then the keywords you're looking for: Felix Buttonweezer, Carkoon, La Slitherina, rant...whatever it is you're looking for.

Most times that will get you what you need, or pretty close.

I always have to use that to find this post, cause I can never remember the phrase I coined.

If anyone has any other brilliant ideas I'm glad to hear them!


Kitty said...

I've had good success using the search engine in the upper left hand corner of this blog.

Colin Smith said...

I'm trying to collect links to useful posts and gems of wisdom from the blog in the Treasure Chest. You could always check that out to see if what you want to know has been collected there. If there are posts you think need to be added, send me the links and I'll be glad to do it. :)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

"...brilliant ideas..."
I'm am loaded with brilliant ideas. I call them "BI".
Sorry, what I really mean is "BS".

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Best blog ever. That should bring up whatever you're looking for in the Reef. Why is it Monday again?

AJ Blythe said...

As well as the search bar in the blog and google, the other place to try is the Writer's Knowledge Base. I often find Janet's articles when I search there.

(It's a great resource for finding lots of writing related posts!)

Anonymous said...

I usually use google when I search for a post. Or "search this blog" feature.

Joseph S. said...

Same question as A.J. Blythe's: Wouldn't it easier to use the "Search This Blog" feature on the right hand side of the blog (Right above "Chum Bucket")?

Please excuse any typing mistakes or my not understanding the topic. I'm still up from reading "The Newspaper Boy" all night (and early morn - Goodness. I feel like Francis Scott Key all of a sudden).

Bed time.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Okay Janet, I'll say it even if everyone else shy's away from it.



Okay, there I said it. Two quarters in the swear jar and a prayer of forgiveness for saying goddamned. Oops, said it again, one more prayer.
Have a nice day.
Clouds forming, thunder, I think God is pissed. Is piss a swear? Another quarter just in case.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

The second quarter in the swear jar was for "FUCKING" book.
I really need to slow down before I hit send.

DLM said...

The problem is, choosing the right keywords. When I went down the archive rabbit hole last week looking for that post about That Guy in the line at an author signing, I tried a LOT of keywords, but never did find the post. Janet knew exactly where it was, but I mean - try searching "that guy", "contract" on this blog. You have to remember some unique turn of phrase.

Such as, "I polished my smile with gunpowder."

Which I failed to remember - so, no dice. Alina Sergachov and AJ Blythe do remind me that Google is also a good option. Often, when I want to link back to an old post on my own blog, I use Google to search "Diane L. Major (unique keyword)" and it is way faster than using the search bar in the blog itself. Google, she knows my ways, and she knows my blog better than my blog does.

Speaking of searching, I have noticed lately that a lot of commenters have missed Janet's "Be Reachable" memos. I click on IDs here a lot, and there seem to be more and more folks with blank profiles. Words to the wise on this subject:

RKeelan said...

For Google, specifically, you can restrict your search to a specific site using site: then the site name.

For example: oatmeal splattered

On a related note, if you live in Canada or, presumably, any other country that's not the States, you'll be automatically redirected from to (or whatever your country's TLD is)... but if you search that site (e.g., you'll get almost nothing.

Craig F said...

I'm still looking for all those things I stashed in "safe" places around the house. You know those places, the kind that seem to be in the room of requirement. They are right there when you used it, now that you wish to retrieve it, it is gone.

Heinlein once remarked about tier storage for mental information. The hard part their is also the key words. We are on the cusp of an information society, we are not yet there. Maybe next week.

julieweathers said...

I use search this blog. When I had to rebuild my website, the search feature was one of the first widgets I plugged in as much for my sanity as my readers. Starching Wranglers is still my most popular post lo these many years later. Wrangler Patches is a close second, but I think the keywords cowboy butts may have something to do with that. You never know.

Craig I sympathize. I put my passport up in a safe place so I wouldn't lose it. Now I can't find it. sigh

DLM said...

Craig, I bought several little gifts for my mom for Mother's Day, but the one I felt was most inspired I put in a TOTALLY safe place which I could never miss. And finally found that particular gift only a few days ago. Mom got her last present on Saturday. Hey, but she liked it! And has been enjoying the other gifts since, so.

In my family, we call that prolonging the holiday/birthday/FUN.

Casey Karp said...

Wait, you mean I don't have to remember every word Janet ever wrote? I can look it up when I need it?

Well, heck. Guess I've been doing it wrong all this time.

Seriously, count me as another who's had reasonable success with the "Search this blog" thing with the Big G as Plan B.

Ximera Grey said...

To search any specific site, type in Google:

your search term



...will search only Janet's site for that search term. I know this works in Google. I expect it works in other search engines as well. I find it VERY useful since many sites have horrible search engines.

Sam Mills said...

I'm seconding RKeelan on the use of Google's site: search function. Then you don't get any other pesky Janets creeping into the results.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I have to Google search my own damn blog posts sometimes, because the keywords Today Jen thinks are the best ones which make the best sense are not necessarily the key words Past Jen thought of at the time.

BJ Muntain said...

I haz the google fu. A very long time ago, I had the job of finding book information from patron's hand-written notes (or the library's typewritten notes of the same misinformation). It was fun. I learned a LOT about searching.

Yeah, it can be difficult finding specific blog posts here. The search engine isn't the best. But when I start, I usually find all sorts of other interesting posts to read. And I also usually find the one I'm looking for.

Never thought to use Google. Might try that next time. Google is a heavy duty search engine, though still not quite as good as some of the library ones I've used in the past. But then, Google has a lot more items to search, and has to be of use to people with no search training.

Some tips:

If you're searching a specific phrase - like "That Guy" (DLM) - put it in quotation marks. Most search engines will keep those words together as a phrase. (Of course, I tried that, and I got a few blog posts, none of which were the That Guy post... however, I came across the WiR that the post was mentioned in, and voila! There was the link.)

Once you get a page full of responses, use your browser's search (on a Windows machine, CONTROL F will pull up a search box. I don't know the shortcut for Apple/Mac machines.) Type in, again, what you were searching for, and it will pull it up. Don't use the special characters, like quotation marks, because that search only pulls up exact text. So if you type in THAT GUY, it will pull up only instances of those two words in that order. If you put in the quotation marks, it will only pull it up if those terms are in quotation marks in the text.

And of course, while making sure all my tips are coherent, I fell down the rabbit hole, reading all sorts of wonderful gems. Including the links in those posts. Including a very interesting libel court case from 2008. (Legalities interest me, for some reason. Maybe I should be a lawyer... but nah. Lawyers need to work with facts and people. I prefer working with space ships and aliens.)

So I'll think of more tips, if I can. It does seem as though SOME boolean searches are enabled in the blog search area. I searched for "that guy" -week, which meant I wanted posts with the phrase "that guy" but not those mentioning 'week', which would include 'week in review' posts.) I didn't get the post regarding 'that guy' either, but I also didn't get the week in review post regarding it. I haven't tried other boolean searches, though. If I think of more (or find more, as I test the search feature, because I'm that kind of weirdo), I'll let you all know.

(Sorry. I previously posted the LONG version. This is the slightly less overlong version.)

Note: I've never tried the Blogger search in the top right corner. Maybe I will, next time.

BJ Muntain said...

Gah. The Blogger search is in the top LEFT corner, as Kitty says in the first comment of the day. I think I need more coffee, but I'm out. :(

DLM said...

BJ, that's essentially what I did (rabbit hole and all), with those and a few other terms. Of course I do use quotes and -eliminations in a search, but I was pre-caffeinated and just did not remember the unique words Janet used in that post. I'd forgotten the post title and the gunpowder quote, which would have taken me right to it. Believe me, searching this blog (and I did fail to use Google) for "that guy" and "contract" and "in line" and "author signing" in various combinations is no way to go about things. However, my problems are my own, and my being (a) possessed of a wee and paltry brain, and (b) muzzy in the morning very probably means that YMMV for the sharper folk hereabouts or anywhere.

So. That being my third comment, I do believe it is time for me to shutteth uppeth. And indulge a few more high cacao chocolate covered espresso beans.

BJ Muntain said...

DLM: I only mentioned you because I was using your example. Not everyone knows to use this technique. Or the -elimination technique. And they do help narrow some things down.

And may I beg a couple of those espresso beans off you? I, too, am somewhat muzzy. And my comments tend to get longer the muzzier I am. So you see? Caffeine is beneficial to the whole group! Especially if you give it to me. :)

Kregger said...

You mean starting at the beginning and scrolling forward isn't an option?

Karen McCoy said...

What 2Ns said.

*hops in raft, and waits to be dragged to Carkoon*

Karen McCoy said...

Oh, and a quick word on metadata. It's good to have a fewer tags, rather than many, for readers to sift through. However, in building a blog for this long, I realize this is a near to impossible feat at this point, and what's done is done. Search box does fine, but if you ever migrate to a different platform, feel free to keep this in mind.

*Watches raft begin to sink*

Joseph S. said...

For the fun of it I tried search words with some idea what I expected to find. I found interesting columns but none anywhere near the topic I expected to find.

In doing the search though, I saw a familiar name I haven't seen here recently. Lucie Witt, are you still reading? You're missed.

Theresa said...

I read this as the OP not having luck figuring out the right search terms. The blog's search box and the big Google don't help much if you don't know the right terminology. So maybe start on the left side of this blog with "Blog posts sorted by category" to get familiar with the lingo, then try a word/phrase search.

Julie Weathers said...

I'm beginning to hate scrivener.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

I have a black belt in Google Fu.

I also have a nasty cold that's linge-- squatte-- invaded my poor mortal coil and has scoffed every eviction notice I've served it.

I've taken so many drugs my Temple Recommend is under threat.