Mike Arrington kicked off a new round of buzz in the blogosphere yesterday, with his review of the aptly-named Sphere. Sphere, for those not in the know, is a new blog search engine.
I’ve been on the Sphere beta for some months, but not used it much. My impressions:
Sphere It! is a genuinely useful feature. From any web page you are reading, you can punch the Sphere It! button, and see all the related commentary in the blogosphere.
I like the idea of Featured Results, but I don’t understand the selection criteria. Is it manual, or is there an algorithm?
The graphical custom date range seems to not work for me. I am not sure whether this is a browser security setting, or something else. More investigation is needed. In general, I would say Sphere’s knowledge of dates is flawed. For instance, just a few moments ago I wrote about Chris Anderson’s musings on Time and the Long Tail. Sphere indexed it very quickly, but thinks it was written 18 hours ago.
Sphere has lots of promise, and has earned a place in my toolkit for the "Sphere It!" feature. It seems unfinished, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a lot of value from what’s there already.