Lijit Feedback [en]

[fr] Un peu de feedback sur Lijit, un moteur de recherche sympa qui s'organise autour du contenu en ligne d'une personne et de son réseau.

I lost the first version of this post in a Firefox crash while I was writing [my post on structured portable social networks]( (that’s what I get for doing too much at the same time). With a bit of luck it will be better 😉

So, as promised, here’s my feedback to Barney about [Lijit]( First, for those of you new to Lijit, [Stowe Boyd blogged about Lijit]( about a week ago, which is how I discovered it. (Yes, go sign up now, but come back here to read the rest of the post when you’re done. Thanks!)

Signing up must have gone reasonably smoothly, because I don’t have any screenshots of it — which is a good start. (When I bump into any interface problem or bugginess nowadays, I quickly [grab a screenshot]( with [Skitch]( and upload it to Flickr with a few notes. Photographs of my online life, if you like.)

I was disappointed that I could only add my and MyBlogLog networks. The latter is a good addition, but how about my Twitter network? Or a blogroll on [my secondary blog]( CTTS doesn’t have a blogroll (pure laziness). I tried importing my network from Facebook, but it was way too creepy, I disabled it as fast as I could. I got the feeling it was going to allow people to search through my friends’ notes and stuff — as well as mine. I do take advantage of the “walled garden” side of Facebook to publish slightly more personal stuff there than “outside”, and I know I’m not alone here.

What would be really neat would be if I were able to export *just the connections* I have to other people from Facebook, and if they are Lijit users, import their blogs and content into my network. Think [portable social networks](

Being able to import the blogs I read (they’re my “network”, aren’t they?) directly from Google Reader (filter with a tag though, so I can keep all those naughty sex blogs I’m keeping track of out of the public eye).

I used Lijit twice to find the old posts I linked back to in the post above. First, on the Lijit website itself:

Holes in my Buckets (Lijit)

Then, using the wijit I installed on my blog:

Lijit Search On Blog

That’s pretty neat. Lijit opens a “fake window” over the current page with the search results, and when I click on a link in the results, it loads in the initial browser window. Sounds obvious, but I like that it works — many ways it could have gone wrong.

I’m moderately happy about the space the wijit takes up on my blog:

Lijit Wijit on CTTS

I know companies are hungry for screen real estate (“make that logo visible!”) — but be less obtrusive and I’ll love you more! Notice that I now have Lijit search, normal Google search, and WordPress search. Way too many search boxes, but for the moment there isn’t one that seems to do the job well enough to be the only one. (Maybe Lijit, but I haven’t had it long enough…)

Stats page is neat, though I’m still totally unable to tell you what the two pie charts on the right do:

Lijit | My Stats

What on earth is Ma.gnolia doing in there?

There, that’s what’s on my mind concerning Lijit for the moment. Watch out for [the screenshots]( if I bump into anything else!

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5 thoughts on “Lijit Feedback [en]

  1. You should be able to add a lot more networks than and MyBlogLog. Go to My Content where you can also add your Twitter account name, any RSS feed (e.g. your second blog). I think it’s not possible to import your Google Reader list by tags but you can import the OPML of it (maybe edit it manually in a text editor, not very comfortable, though). You can also change the widget by going to My Search Wijit; you can rid of the Surprise Me feature, resize the widget,… I still haven’t figured out the stats page myself. I guess that someone from your network has a Ma.gnolia account.

    Anyway, I hope this helps a little bit.

  2. I can add stuff to My Content, but I was talking about My Network. If you check out my account, you’ll see there’s a whole lot of stuff I’ve added to My Content. My Network, on the other hand, only lets you add individual links or publicly available OPML feeds (and figuring out if and how Google Reader provides that is “too much work” from a usability perspective).

    I want the surprise me feature. The resize is only for the horizontal size IIRC — what bothers me is the vertical space it takes.

    Ma.gnolia shows up in the My Content pie chart — so that’s my account, not somebody else’s.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, though 😉

  3. Oops, you’re right. I probably read your post too quickly last night. Sorry! So I agree, it would be cool if there were more options to add stuff to My Network.

  4. Hi Stephanie, thanks for the detailed account of your experience at Lijit. Lijit began as my master’s thesis in Germany (not too far from you!) so I’m always glad to see how people use it. Let me take a stab at your questions.

    • “how about my Twitter network?” – I want it too! Twitter has a fantastic open API so we’ll be adding this soon.

    • Importing a blogroll from a second blog is a good idea. (Right now you can expand the network by using the button at the bottom of the network page, but you’d have to add each blog separately.)

    • The Facebook network actually works exactly as you said you wish it did: We don’t search any content in Facebook, as their API explicitly prohibits this. But we will search any external blogs/bookmarks/etc of any friends that you have in Facebook.

    • On Google Reader: Yes!!! I want this too. I don’t know why Google doesn’t allow their users to share the blogs they read. Lot’s of other users have asked for this too. E.g. see my post in the newsgroup.

    • I agree that we take up more space than we need too. Let me talk to some people about that.

    • Magnolia is in your results because someone clicked on a search result that came from your Magnolia account.

    • Sorry the pie graphs are confusing! You’re not the first person to say that. I think we’ll combine them. The idea is to show where content is coming from that shows up in results from your search engine: your blog, your bookmarks, your twitter, etc…

    Please let me know of any other ideas you have, and what your experience is like over the next weeks. Again, thanks for the detailed post!

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