OK, One More Time on the "Definitive" NPTech Search Engine
Training for a New Technology--"The Book"

More on Rollyo and Creating Your Own Search Engine

I'm continuing to play around with Rollyo and I have to say that it's a nifty little "DIY" tool that that could definitely help with this whole knowledge management issue.

First, I created another, more general nonprofit search engine that includes these sites:

  • Idealist.org
  • Idealware
  • Social Source Commons
  • Changing the Present
  • Change.org
  • Care2.org
  • Capaciteria
  • TechSoup
  • NTen
  • Consultant Commons

I also threw in Technorati and Delicious because there are so many nonprofit resources there, too.

Now, although I think Rollyo is giving decent results, there are still some issues.

Use Focused Search Terms
First, when you create a Rollyo search engine, you can only enter the first level of a site--in other words, I can't get it to just search Delicious bookmarks tagged "nonprofit." (That was a definite advantage to Swicki)  Instead, it searches all bookmarks.  For terms that are clearly "nonprofit only" (i.e., "nptech"), then it shouldn't be a problem. But more "open" searches will be.

For example, I typed in "recycle" (one of the tags from Change.org) and got back a ton of Delicious bookmarks. Some people might be OK with that if they're looking to connect based on recycling. But others might not be.

If you want to confine your search to nonprofit-related information, also include the word "nonprofit" in your search. This isn't really different than other search engines, though. You always want to include terms that will help you exclude unwanted results.

Use Boolean Searches
I wanted to see how my search would work for something like job search. I searched for "nonprofit employment Philadelphia PA" but got back some Delicious results I didn't want. So then I tried a Boolean Search using "NOT bookmarks" and got rid of the Delicious results. So another way to refine the search that was nice.

Try Searching Individual Sites or Expanding to the Web
Although the entire point of the Rollyo Toolbar is to search several sites at once, there may be times you decide you want to confine your search to just one of the sites on the list. When you get back your Rollyo Search results, you'll also see a list of the sites included in the Rollyo Search. If you click on the name of the individual site you want to search, you will get results back from just that site.

Alternatively, you can expand your search by clicking on the link at the bottom of any search page that's titled "Expand to the Web."

Using the Rollyo Searches I made
I made two search tools using Rollyo:

NPTech Search

General Nonprofit Search

You can create direct links to both of those for your own site or bookmark them for future reference if they seem useful to you. If you use Firefox, you'll notice when you go to the search tool that you can also add these search tools to your Firefox toolbar.

Rolling Up Your Own Search Engine
Creating your own Rollyo search is pretty easy. You just sign up for an account (They ask for minimal information at sign-up. Seth Godin must be advising them) and then create a searchroll. The Dashboard is where you manage all your rolls. You can also explore other people's search engines and add them to your dashboard. Then you can create a blogroll of your search rolls. (It's getting a little too complicated, isn't it?)

OK, so enough with the Search engines today. I had fun and I hope this contributes to the nonprofit  knowledge management toolkit. I know it certainly contributed to my learning.

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