It isn’t quite as hard as you might think, because there aren’t that many of them yet. Or maybe that means it’s actually harder. Whatever.
Your first thought might be, “why not just use Google?” Actually, that has just become a possible strategy, because only in the middle of September it came out that Google has a brand new search facility just for blogs: Google Blog Search. (Here’s a news story.) Like the familiar Google Web search, this service lets you do many kinds of searches — by words in the blog name, message title, message text, by author, by date, and so forth.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you were simply to search with terms like “naturism” or “nudism”, you would come up with an incredible amount of junk, because there are so many soft (and hard) core porn sites that use these terms deceptively. You will also find a lot of posts that use these terms legitimately, but where the blog itself has little or nothing to do with naturism. The problem is far worse if you use terms like “nude” or “naked”.
One solution is to make the searches more specific, by including other terms like “California” or “nude beach” that must be in the post. But you still get a lot of junk. By default, Google supposedly presents the results sorted by “relevance”. Unfortunately, whatever their relevance algorithm is, it works poorly in this case. You can also request reports sorted by date. That’s much worse.
So what can you do? The good news is that there are other blog search tools, and a few work better for finding naturist blogs.
One of the oldest and most popular blog search services is Technorati. Like Google, it allows you to specify a variety of different types of searches. And you can also link directly to a search on the term “nudism” (for instance) with this URL: http://www.technorati.com/search/nudism. The search results are sorted by age (newest first), but there is far less junk in the results than what Google yields.
Technorati also allows you to search for blogs rather than posts in blogs, using descriptive terms provided by the blog owner. Unfortunately, this seems to find only blogs that the owner has registered with the term at Technorati, so you get far fewer results. Finally, you can search for individual posts that have been explicitly “tagged” with a term by the author. This too eliminates most junk, but also returns few results, because it finds only posts that the author has gone to the effort of tagging. But this situation should improve, since tagging is a relatively new idea which will be much more useful if it catches on more generally. We will discuss tags in more detail in a later article.
Here are some additional search services similar to Google and Technorati:
Unfortunately, when we checked these, they provided few useful results with the search terms “naturism” and “nudism” (but little junk, either).
Another type of search tool is a blog directory, such as the original Yahoo! website directory. At this time, it isn’t worth listing any of these. Whether intentionally or not, all of them have little or nothing very relevant to naturism.
However, there is one good technique you may not have thought of. Most of the blogging service providers, such as Blogger, have user profiles, which allow people to provide information about themselves and their blogs. Generally you can search the directory of profiles, so try a search on “nudism” or “naturism”. The nice thing about these is you can see what other interests the person has — which will probably eliminate many. The downside is that their blogs may have little or nothing to say about naturism.
There’s one additional effective strategy for finding good naturist blogs. Once you have found a few blogs you like, take a look at the list of links (if any) in the sidebars usually found on the left or right side of the main text. The links there are either sites that the blog owner likes and recommends (which is the case on this site) or else other blogs that link to the current site. Unless this list is especially long, the recommendations you find there can be very worthwhile.
And of course, whenever you find a post from another blog being discussed or mentioned on the current blog, it’s usually worthwhile following the link, even if the topic isn’t especially interesting to you. You may find that the blog that’s linked to has much other content which is interesting. If you see comments or trackbacks associated with a post, check those too, since people sometimes promote their blogs that way.
There are still more ways to find naturist blogs, but they have to do with topics we’ll discuss in future posts in this series:
- Searches and directories that involve syndication and “feeds”, and searches that are part of “feed aggregators”
- Searching in “social networking sites” which support blogging, such as LiveJournal
- Using sites that provide “social bookmarking”, such as Del.icio.us and Furl
Originally published October 9, 2005