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New Tool BlogPulse (and how to GET what they POST)

Somewhere in the aggregator today came a pointer to a new blog search tool, BlogPulse

BlogPulse is an “automated trend discovery system for blogs. Blogs, a term that is short for weblogs, represent the fastest-growing medium of personal publishing and the newest method of individual expression and opinion on the Internet. BlogPulse applies machine-learning and natural-language processing techniques to discover trends in the highly dynamic world of blogs… It is a one-stop portal for finding out what bloggers are saying on topics of interest to you or on your beat…. Perhaps you want to find out the latest, greatest memes and trends in the blogosphere—you’ve come to the right place. Check out our daily Analysis and Trends.

And it seems to support Google-like searches, well at least putting quotes around words for a phrase search, for example, my own BlogPulse on “learning objects”.

But wait a minute- when you search from BlogPulse, you are not provided a savable URL like Google, which allows you to create your own “Google Links” ( that links to an MLX package “how to”). The reason is on the techie side, but it boils down to how the FORM tags are set up- a method=”POST” option does not return the query appeneded to the search URL (like BlogPulse), while the GET method supplied by Google will return the results with a full URL that allows you to regenerate the results.

This is an incredible feat that Google provides, whether it was their intent to do so or not. Any search result from Google can be repeated by the URL of the search results page. Copy / Paste and you have a new Google Link

This is a small trick I have used for years, but as a Happy Friday bonus, I present my strategy for going from a POST to a GET…

(1) First of all, you have to snag the HTML source of the primary search page. So I went to BlogPulse’s Search screen at http://www.blogpulse.com/search. Then save the source as HTM, usually Save As… under the File menu for your browser, and be sure to set the option for Source or HTML. You can also use the View Source menu item, and then save that as a text file.

The point is to get the HTML for the search page.

(2) You will next insert an HTML tag that instructs your locally saved HTML file as if it were sitting on the BlogPulse web site. This is inserting a BASE tag inside the HEAD portion…. so for the BlogPulse HTML, the very top looks like:

and we will add the BASE HREF= tag with a value that represents the path that includes the file name, so if the URL for the search is http://www.blah.com/cool/stuff/search.html, what we want is http://www.blah.com/cool/stuff/.

So the changes we make to the BlogPulse html file make it now read:

(3) Next, we need to find the FORM tag, and change one attribute. You may have to use your text editor and do a search on <FORM. So the BlogPulse HTML reads:

and we will change that to read:

(4) Save this HTML file and load it in your web browser.

(5) If all went well, you will see a web page that is an exact replica of the one from the web site, except the URL will now look something like:

file:///Users/alan/Desktop/search.html

file://C:\My Documents\search.html

All you need to do now is to plug in your search, and fire away. So when I put “learning objects” into the search field on my local file, click search, the results are relayed back from BlogPulse, but now the URL in my browser has the full set of parameters processed by the server script:

http://www.blogpulse.com/search?offset=0&operator=&start_date=&
end_date=&sort=&max_results=&query=learning+object

This is a URL I can use as a hypertext link anywhere that will regenerate this search.

And that my friends, is how you can GET what they POST.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Comments

  1. Hmmm… To get listed in your own BlogPulse search you’d need to give in and start calling those things you built a repository for ‘learning objects.’

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