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Paging Michael Barrett

In my last post I alluded to a writer friend Michael Barrett who consistently refuses to set up a home base of operations on the Internet. He writes a lot and faces a lot of difficulties being found on the Web. For one thing, he wrote a few hundred articles for San Express News, whose content is behind a paywall. Second, he has a generic name, and apparently

  • a generic search for Michael Barrett. This search does not limit the web domains for his content, so there are still a lot of false positives, but not so much that it is a major deal.  But I have to exclude a lot of keywords; apparently someone with the same name was convicted of peephole spying, and another person was a Welsh singer, and another person is an online marketer, so you have to exclude those out. One trick I use is  to specify “by Michael Barrett” because most decent websites running articles will have those three words in the byline. This is not always true; many websites are incompetent.  (Of course, if Michael wants to write a book review about the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, the google searcher is out of luck.
  • You would think it possible to specify more than one domain in the advanced search query. Unfortunately you cannot do this for any search engine (to my knowledge).
  • Even if I specify a web domain, the search results aren’t beautiful. If I limit search results to popmatters.com (where Mike wrote for several years), I get a lot of search results which are articles written by other people which includes links to articles by Michael Barrett. (The contributor page on popmatters.com lists articles by Michael Barrett more appropriately).

Here’s a mashup I would really like: the ability to integrate search results from more than one domain. Funny that no one has ever thought of doing it.

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