Sphere Blog

May 2, 2006

april showers bring may flowers

Filed under: Sphere Launch — sphere @ 4:06 am

Most of you know that we had planned to launch a week ago. Well, we were ahead of ourselves. We decided to take a step back and let the new site burn for a week just to make sure everything was up to snuff. It’s been a week, no major issues and we’ve entered a new month. We’re psyched to launch sphere. Here’s what is new in the V1.5 release:

  • custom range histogram;
  • sphere it bookmarklet that makes it easy to find blog posts that relate to what you’re reading on the Web;
  • top queries this hour/ this week;
  • RSS;
  • community feedback buttons throughout the site;
  • expanded related media verticals including podcasts (Yahoo! API), books (Amazon API), and photos (CNET Webshots API);
  • expanded related news articles coverage (over 50 mainstream news sites such as CNN, NYT, ESPN, Fox, USA Today to name a few);
  • expanded profiles;
  • featured blogs for over 12,000 keyword search terms for broad topics including venture capital, baseball, anime, food, web 2.0, tech news, knitting, culture, etc.; and
  • a brand new back end that scales.

Our two favorite features are the 1) custom range feature (you’ll find it in the drop down box that says “last week” – do a search on mohammed cartoons and hit custom range – it really illustrates it’s utility) and 2) the sphere it bookmarklet.

Give it a spin and let us know your thoughts. We hope you like it.

14 Comments »

  1. Hi, and Congrats on the Launch. I’ll be sure to blog about it tomorrow morning.

    I have a question, though. I submitted my blog, and did a query, expecting my site to show up. I found posts from my blog, but to my horror, they are published to another blog, and the blogger not only outright stole many of my posts, they had the nerve to set up a sphere profile. So their blog is in the ranking and mine is not. Who do I report this to, and why was their blog of stolen content included in your index when my blog with the original content was not?

    Comment by Tinu — May 2, 2006 @ 7:01 am | Reply

  2. I found it rather interesting, that you mentioned 7AM for the launch time, but failed to mention which time zone. Granted, this may well be an intentional test by viewing time zone peaks, or a case of test and debug to exhaustion.

    I did some playing around with it this morning, wow, its pretty cool, although I did come across some nav issues and minor bugs to be tweaked out. (do you have a bug submit form still around somewhere, or did you pull it off when you made a decision to go live)

    Anyhow from what I’ve seen so far, the core functionality seems solid, and the other stuff is pretty trivial.

    Have a great day guys, I wish you the best!

    Comment by Ron — May 2, 2006 @ 9:22 am | Reply

  3. [...] Sphere blog search launched today, and the gang hopes to really do blog search by relevance better than what’s currently out there. I’m more of a power user since I use Technorati, Sphere, and Feedster all at the same time to learn more about what’s going on, but I can tell you that the functionality offered by Sphere is really hot. More news from TechCrunch about the launch, as well as their official weblog launch entry. [...]

    Pingback by 9rules Network » Blog Archive » Sphere Blog Search Launches With A Little Help From 9rules — May 2, 2006 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

  4. Just gave a first look at ‘Sphere’ after getting your e-mail announcing the launch.
    I noticed that the most recent posts i wrote on ‘Serge the Concierge’ did not appear but i guess it is all about getting up and running.

    I added the ‘Sphere it’ bookmarklet to my browser toolbar and will see if I should add the ‘Sphere’ typepad widget.

    Congratulations on your work.

    Serge
    Blog:

    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com

    Biz:

    http://www.njconcierges.com

    Comment by Serge Lescouarnec — May 2, 2006 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  5. Tony, I found your interview on ‘talkcrunch’ very interesting. You are right that the bloggers for the most part are interested in tech issues followed by politics, then perhaps a few outstanding niche bloggers that build an audience (like your example handcrafts, soulemama.typepad.com). BTW, I found it by using Sphere as you failed to mention it was a typepad blog.

    The real revolution starts when people start blogging out of need rather than novelty and entertainment. When you talk about people who are non-techie then you are referring to someone like myself. I recently started a 100% non-profit site called ‘my cancer community’ (myCC) because of a real world need to find cancer solutions for my wife by ‘exploring’,’researching’ and ‘networking’. Prior to this, I have not blogged or done a site and knew very little about what makes up a website (I now find myself reluctantly knee-deep in things like mySQL, and PHP).

    Unfortunately, there are very few people blogging about cancer, despite its importance and the emergence of a growing backlash against gov’t medical healthcare policies and practices. A ‘cancer’ search at Sphere doesn’t turn much up. The ‘redtoe nail’ site, a good site that provides people for the most part with a way to show support and express emotions. Our sites are different though as myCC hopes to draw researchers to the site for discussions on cancer solutions, raise political issues in forums and record specific therapies (alternative and traditional) people are involved in so that a person’s experience (via a wiki) would be accessible to the community. Its what Sphere is trying to do, search for something then place it into a meaningful context for the user.

    Comment by Steve Lowy — May 3, 2006 @ 6:42 am | Reply

  6. VC Rating: Sphere

    Company: Sphere Description: Blog search engine Competitors: Technorati, Feedster, Google, Yahoo Location: San Francisco Amount Raised: $3.75 million Round: First Date Announced: 5/2/06 VC Firms: Trident Capital VC Directors: Venetia Kontogouris Quick…

    Trackback by VC Ratings — May 3, 2006 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  7. Congrats on your launch. I’m glad there’s a new player in the blog search arena and I look forward to many happy pings.

    I’m not seeing any of my blogs in your results yet, so I’m curious as to how you’re aggregating posts.

    Anyway — congrats and best of luck to you!

    Comment by Aimee — May 4, 2006 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

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