Topix finally usable after relaunch

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topix, possibly the most feature rich news search engine online already, has relaunched and looks very cool. The Topix index of 50,000 news sources is 10 times larger than the Google News index and 7 times as large as Yahoo! News. Topix really focuses on local search. Today’s relaunch makes the search results on Topix much easier to use than they have been before.

Founded in 2002 by some of the creators of the DMOZ open directory project, majority stake in Topix is now owned by media companies Gannett, McClatchy/Knight Ridder and the Tribune Company.

The best new feature in this week’s relaunch is the visual timeline for the number of results from each day in the last year. It’s like Technorati’s blog search timeline, but on Topix you can click any point in the visual and see results from that day and prior. Google and Yahoo News results only go back 30 days or less.

topix timeline

Searches on Topix are now case sensitive, so you can search for “IT” for example, without getting a page full of results for the word “it.”

Search results from blogs are highlighted with a little blue “B” next to the story titles. Integrating blog and news search results by default is a nice touch. Words in the result excerpts that have their own dedicated topic pages are highlighted and display a drop down box of their own recent results.

With forums and classified ads and loads of news categories, Topix really flirts with feature overload. In the past, pages been too messy to use. This week’s relaunch is focused on some very helpful changes though and makes this powerful site easier to use. In fact, I’d say it’s gone from being almost unusable to being a uniquely powerful news search service.

  • PXLated

    As I Tweeted – The link to this post came through in my RSS stream first. I was halfway through reading when your (Steve) Tweet appeared. Realtime seems to equal RSS at this point :-)

  • Karoli

    I take issue with the idea of podcasts transforming into real time. Like the relationship of twitter and blogs, where twitter is real-time and blogs become an archive, there is a place for recordings of podcasts. Just tonight I referred someone to a newsgang podcast.

    Archives matter. History is built on archives. History matters. So real time may be how we live moment to moment, but reflection happens in the review of the archive. Don’t think one supplants the other.

    • //de

      Great response.

  • Kenneth Stein

    Twitter is the means by which one can reach a variety of ends. I hear nobody discussing why it is that the real-time web is emerging. If you’re interested in discussing please feel free to follow me on twitter…postjockey. I’ll give a heads-up when about to do a live show covering this very topic. See you there!

  • Jeff Weber

    I agree with, Karoli.

    Anytime > Realtime!

  • Jim Posner

    Pattern recognition requires precedence. The value of real-time is tightly coupled to antecedence.

  • jemimus

    The -entire- point of podcasting was its time-shifted nature, vs the old and outmoded model of broadcast. Outmoded because the concent distribution model the internet allows allows for far greater flexibility than the old way. A better experience for both the listener and the content producer. To think that real-time, while important, suplants time-shifting is missing taking a step back. On a more personal note, I find it amazingly regrettable to loose the Gilmore gang in this way, which appears to be case. Rare will be the time I can catch the show live, and I am sure I speak for many not in the US

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