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Friday, August 19, 2011

Create your own personal, custom search engine

I read, & then I read some more. While a fair bit of what I read are good while I read it & no more, there are others I find more interesting, possibly useful & would want to be able to access it again at a later date. Naturally, a copy of such a reference material, I archive on my HDD. However, accessing that file, based on the content [text] inside the document is cumbersome. Some software like Google Desktop search need to be installed to make it possible.

However, the desire to be able to access the information from anywhere lead to me create 6 other blogs, where I tag those news items along with their respective URL, anchored around the title, for future reference -,,,,, My own personal bookmarking service

However, a major drawback in this method of online archiving is that I need to manually add a title & URL to each news item. I also have to write a brief description of the URL's content, for me to be able to use the search feature in the Blogger's Navbar to search at a later date. Needless to say, with an average of 110 news items awaiting me in the inbox each morning, this method of online archiving wasn't quite working out as I had envisaged & I was posting infrequently there.

Fortunately, I recently found this great website that allows me to collate all such interesting articles & reference materials & also make the content in those articles searchable. Using Trunk.Ly, one can build, what can be described as, your own personal search engine. When you run a search for any keyword in Trunk.Ly, it will look up for matching results only among those pages whose URL you had earlier entered.

Trunk.Ly packs in two goodies into one - ability to bookmark interesting links, a la Delicious & also search through them based on their content. Not only does it index content of the page whose URL you submit, it also indexes and makes searchable those pages too, whose URLs are present on the page you had added to Trunk.Ly earlier. As the feature is an opt-in option, I would advice that this feature be used judiciously, preferably sparingly. Indexing a page adds to the strain on Trunk.Ly's hardware resources. We wouldn't want to see this good service being closed down because it can't cope up with the demand, would we?

For example, take a look at this result. Not only is it showing results from pages I had myself entered, it is also doing so from relevant pages whose URL appeared in the page submitted.

Build customised, personal search engine using Trunk.Ly

Links can be submitted using a browser bookmarklet they've provided. It automatically populates the Title & URL sections, allowing you to also add tags & description if you feel like, but it is not necessary - only the first two are needed for the job. If you need the content of a blog/website indexed & available for search as it gets updated, you can also add its RSS feed for automating the process of link submission. Trunk.Ly can also be associated with you account in other online services like Quora, Twitter, LinkedIn among others, so that anything you may post there is also indexed and can be searched all from one location - very nifty. Entries made in Trunk.Ly can themselves be accessed in a consolidated manner as a RSS feed.

They have tried to incorporate a social media twist to it with the follow & follower feature, whereby you can follow someone's Trunk.Ly account to receive update. But that, I believe, is somewhat out of place. Anyway, no harm done by its presence. What I would like most, however, is a Trunk.Ly-powered custom search engine box that can be embedded on my blog, like that provided by Google's & Microsoft Bing's custom search. Would be very useful if the same can be done with my Trunk.Ly search engine.

All in all, a heaven sent web service, making life for those who read and then retrieve later a breeze.

In case, this is my Trunk.Ly account:


Note: With EveryDNS going paid at the end of this month, will be migrating DNS Servers, possibly to or Namecheap FreeDNS - site access may be a little wonky for the next 48-72 hours.