Rawsugars Benefits For Bloggers

By: Danny Wirken

Blogs are web logs that are updated regularly, usually on a daily basis. RawSugar is a guided, tag-based search engine that is said to offer a multitude of benefits to bloggers. The most notable of which is the impact it could have on regular search.

What is RawSugar?

RawSugar delivers guided search for tagged content. Guided search provides the users the most relevant topics for results at each level of the search. Through this, results can quickly be narrowed down, enabling users to select the topics/tags and subtopics that are most relevant to them.

Guided search is preferable to users since search results are organized by descriptive topics at every level. This makes finding what they need faster and simpler. A typical category list provides only a single level of classification and requires readers to scroll through the lengthy results before finding the entries they deem important. Known also a faceted search, guided search is used by on-line retail and large corporate sites such as Amazon and eBay. The software and services necessary for guided search are sold by companies such as Endeca, but implementation cost can be over $ 100,000.00, aside from taking weeks to set-up. RawSugar offers similar results at no cost and can be set-up on a site in minutes.

The tags used by members and the relationship between these tags make up the essential elements of guided search. Groups of parent-child relationships between tags known as Tag Hierarchies are used to improve search results surpassing machine-driven algorithms. Every time a user searches for the parent tag, all the tags with the same parent can be retrieved together. Tag hierarchy relationships are assembled to provide users a superior guided search even for those who don't specify their own.

It is important to use as many relevant tags that are considered useful for retrieving a particular page or blog entry. Child tags should be a subset or a subtype of the parent. Separate characteristics should be separate tags instead of being sub-tags of another.

When searching RawSugar, use the tabs at the top of the search area to select the scope of the search. Search can either be confined to a single RawSugar directory, all the directories and blogs in the watch list, popular blogs or simply all of RawSugar. Hundreds of the web's most popular blogs are set-up and ready to be searched with RawSugar.

RawSugar's search extras include creating a watch list from favorite blogs and RawSugar directories to quickly see new additions and easily search the archives. Web pages can be saved into the directory directly from RawSugar results or from anywhere on the web. Organizing saved favorites with as many tags as deemed useful and arranging hierarchies is also possible. Choices for privacy settings of each entry made in the directory can either be visible to everyone, visible to those on a watch list or visible only to the user. RawSugar directory can be accessed from anywhere the user has net connectivity.

A RawSugar directory contains a directory which is a set of resources on the web selected by the user, searchable for him/her and friends. These resources are generally web pages but may also include other items like images, PowerPoint and PDF files that have a public URL. Signing in is a requirement for the use of RawSugar to create a directory to publish the user's directory. This is necessary to gain access to this directory and personal settings available only to the user as well as to separate the contributions made by the user from everyone else's. This is the reason why RawSugar can be used from any PC. However, signing in or creating a directory is not required for the use of RawSugar's search functionality.

RawSugar for Bloggers

RawSugar represents better navigation and search for any blog which translates to happier users and higher user traffic. It is free, easy and leverages existing efforts in categorizing and tagging posts. RawSugar's guided search can be added to any blog by going to the Topic Navigation of the site. The simple configuration options are to be set and the provided JavaScript to be copied and pasted to the blog template where the tag box should appear.

Guided search indexes blog contents by using the tags and categories for which posts have been assigned by the blogger. This adds real value to the efforts already made by the blogger. A blog can be synced with RawSugar so that new posts are automatically tagged by going to the blog import screen and pasting the RSS or ATOM feed URL into the text box and clicking Add Blog. Existing archives can also be imported if a WordPress blog is used.

Adding RawSugar to a blog greatly improves the reader's experience. It also attracts more readers who search for blogs through RawSugar. There are also possibilities to earn cash through the RawSugar Rewards.

All elements of appearance are controlled through CSS styles. However, bloggers can customize RawSugar guided search to match the blog's look and feel by overriding the default styles to match color, font and layout. Even the tag hierarchy can be tailored to fit the site. Bloggers and taggers can manually create the tag hierarchy for their account. It can also be done by the system which automatically bases it on relationships created by users. The parent/child relationship can be specified by the bloggers directly into the blog by using Technorati-style tags while taggers can include them in the RawSugar's tag field. The hierarchy can be changed later on by both bloggers and taggers.

A RawSugar Tag element can be added to a website by going to My Directory>RawSugar for blog or website and going through the options to set the number of columns of tags, to have a free text search box, to show sub-tags and the specific tags to be included. The update button should be clicked to make sure that the JavaScript has all the choices which shall be copied and pasted into the web page or blog. For WordPress and other blogs, this can be contained in the sidebar. If more control over the appearance of the widget is desired, the link at the bottom of the page labeled "want to change the stylesheet we use?" should be clicked. Instructions on using CCS to override the default display should be provided.

RawSugar makes use of the linkblog to benefit readers. A linkblog is a blog that focuses on sharing useful, interesting or important web resources that contains a minimal amount of added comment or explanation, sometimes none from the blogger. This is to bring these resources to an audience's attention, to trace them for personal research or to create a focused, edited knowledge based on a particular topic. RawSugar's free and ad supported service aims to help web publishers and bloggers to improve their respective site with guided navigation through hierarchies. Its service is still being actively developed and improved to provide more useful features and modify the way pages appear and make existing features work better.

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