Searching Resources using Google Custom Search

Since I set up the Remote Worker blog last year I’ve been bookmarking all the resources I’ve found relating to remote working on delicious. I currently have 169 resources tagged with remoteworking.

At the moment people can access these resources in two ways: the 5 most recent pages are pulled by RSS feed into the right hand side bar of this blog or people can browse the links using my delicious tag.

Neither of these offers many opportunities and what I’d really like is a way for people to ‘mine’ the resources.

Google Custom Search

custom_search_logo_betaAfter mentioning the bookmarked resources on Twitter Andy Powell suggested I have a look at Google Custom Search (CSE) which allows you to “create a customized search experience for your own website“. The key for me was that it allows you to “automatically search across links, bookmarks or blogrolls by creating a custom search engine on the fly“.

The WordPress Dilema

The big problem here is that it isn’t straight forward adding javascript to a wordpress page on WordPress.com. In fact it’s pretty tricky. My coding skills (practically zero) just aren’t up to it.

Although there are a number of sites offering you help replacing your wordpress search with Google Custom search (something I don’t want to do), there are not many that offer you help in ading a search to a post or page.

Linking Delicious and Google

I ended up using the step by step tool created by Vik Sing which allows you to create a custom search engine based on your delicious bookmarks (using a particular tag) with no knowledge of the advanced options or understanding of XML. You basically download an XML dump of your bookmarks and upload them to Google. Really easy. I’m assuming that you’ll have to reupload the XML file every now and then but at least the resources are searchable for now and I can add resources manually to the CSE too. Also the Google Marker allows you to add sites by pressing a button on your browser.

The end result is a great search box that allows people to search all the remote working resources I’ve tagged, and my blog at the same time!
google

Unfortunately I can’t embed the search box in WordPress because of the Javascript problem. So here is the search embedded into a page on the UKOLN Web site for people to try out.

Why not try out a few searches? Try looking for skype, security or culture.

What next?

Well really I’d like people’s suggestions on where I go from here. My ideal would be having the search on a page on the blog some where like here and for the results to appear back in the blog so users know where they are. I’d also like to tidy up the actual CSE and possibly allow people to collaborate with me in creating it.

This is all a learning process so any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks

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  1. Pingback: JISC Beginner's Guide to Digital Preservation » Blog Archive » The End of Delicious?

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