I was given beta access to the new blog search service known as Sphere, first thing I noticed no RSS buttons. I have already sent them a e-mail telling them this is going to be crucial from the get go, if we are not able to load queries in our news readers why would I bother visiting the site when I have 400 other queries spread among the sites Sphere will be competing for attention with.
Second thing I noticed was when I did specific searches for sites that it was obvious that this website had not been indexed. I then did searches on about 10 other sites I read daily and had about a 50% success rate. They are looking at some parts of the blogsphere but not the whole thing.
I reviewed 20 search terms I use with technorati, pubsub, and Icerocket. Sphere found a few links that were not found in those other searches, but Sphere’s depth of information did not even come close to technorati and Icerocket.
I understand the site is still in beta but they have a lot of work to do, if they want to capture what the wold is talking about with complete results and cross references. I don’t share all of the excitement some other reviewers have been saying about the site. But again I am pretty critical of all sites that don’t employ RSS, and they could have at least indexed this site before they invited me to the beta. The impression that is given when you do not find sites in the index that you read or find important is elitism. I am sure the real answer is more about servers, bandwidth and time to collect the information.