Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Help Request Answered: NY Times Article on WebLogs

Author:Jakob Nielsen
Posted:9/10/1999; 9:57:46 AM
Topic:Help Request Answered: NY Times Article on WebLogs
Msg #:10885
Prev/Next:10884 / 10886

Dave: Help request. The NY Times ran an article on weblogs a couple of months back. I'm looking for a pointer.

Online Digests Help Readers Cope With Information Avalanche, August 2, 1999, by Andy Wang
(Access to the New York Times requires user registration)

Unfortunately it is impossible to derive the persistent URL from for articles that you find through the search engine.

Here's the story on how I found this article:

1) At, search for "weblog" and "weblogs" - nothing found. (after I found the article, I discovered that it simply doesn't use this special term - which I don't like much anyway).

2) Human memory: I remembered reading a story on weblogs in the Chicago Tribune from a link on the Scripting News home page. I also remembered that the article had referred to somebody whose site was discussed in the New York Times. I assumed that this indirect reference would be to the desired article.

3) The link to the Chicago Tribune is still high on the Scripting News page, and so was easy to find.

4) The Chicago Tribune article includes this sentence: “Romanesko, who moved to Chicago from St. Paul last weekend, recently was featured in stories in The New York Times and”

5) Copy-paste Romanesko from Chicago Tribune into the New York Times search box. Nothing found.

6) Go to the weblog site mentioned in the Chicago Tribune article: and link from there to the author’s personal page in the hope that it would include link to his press coverage. Indeed, this page had some links, including a link to the Salon story, but not to the New York Times story.

7) Go to Salon in the hope that it would link to the New York Times article. No such luck.

8) Noted that many of these stories mentioned the MediaGossip site as an important example of an influential weblog. Decided to try to search for that keyword at Success!

Why did my search under step (5) fail? Because the Chicago Tribune had misspelled Romenesko's name (it’s with an E, not an A in the second syllable). Doing a copy-paste on this keyword (which I presumed to be unique and a great search indicator for the desired article) doomed me to failure because the New York Times search engine does not employ a spelling checker.

(Interestingly, because you are mentioned in this article, a search for "Dave Winer" at would have retrieved the article as one of seven hits listed - not too many to scan thorugh and reasonably easy to guess from the headline which one is the desired article.)

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