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I have a feeling you have been there... "I know I wrote that article! Now where is it!!! I want to share it with somebody!" You can go back through your archives listing (it's over there on the right-hand sidebar... every post you have on AR sorted by MONTH). But that takes Wayyyy to long! After a couple of months of listings, you give up on that one. But wait, I can search my tags! Uhhh, well the first 479 posts on ActiveRain you had no clue how to properly tag an article, so that's not going to work (on the older posts). There must be another way!
Yesterday's post, I shared my ActiveRain Wishlist (work in progress) and in your comments, several mentioned this problem about how you cannot search and find your past articles very efficiently. I think AR can help create some new tools in the future to help us with this, but I want to show you some ideas you can use right now and our best friend Google!
Let's use Jeff Dowler to illustrate the point. You can see by Jeff's longevity on AR that the volume of his posts is substantial (see archives list in the graphic above)! We are going to use some special advanced (but easy) operators in the google search box. First of all I'm going to specify in quotes "posted by jeff dowler" and by using the quotes it takes that phrase literally. Otherwise, it might find results where Jeff was a commenter and not the author. Next we use the site: operator and tell it that the results must be on the activerain.com website. Lastly, we use the intitle: operator and put the keyword (let's pick something Jeff might write about!) beaches. The results as you see below is 74 hits. By using intitle: the word had to be in the title and thus the topic and not just a passing word in the article.
Now let's say that in our mind, we know it was a recent article... must have been in the past year. On the left sidebar of google, you can click the date range. Let's click the "past year" option and see how it narrows down the search. Aha... 4 articles. (see below)
Finally, let's be a little more specific... Jeff says "I know I wrote once about rock sculptures, where is that. Let's use intitle:"rock sculptures" to be specific (and the surrounding quotes means exact phrase match). Aha, there it is! Posted Dec 2 of 2008 and if you had to go month by month back to it, you would have given up long ago!
Now, I highly suggest you learn how to use tags in your posts. It makes it much easier to catalog your posts. You are essentially creating an index that you know you can use in the future. See my post, Your Tags Are Virtual Folders for more info. But if you have a whole store of articles that aren't tagged well, I hope the above tips can help you find "that article" again. Happy searching!
About the Author
Craig Daniels is a Technology Manager residing in NYC who specializes in applied technologies in the fields of Architecture and Real Estate. Craig focuses on finding the best uses of tech as can be used to help a business be more successful. He is keen on always seeing the perspective and viewpoint of his audience and he tailors his teaching to be easily understood. He teaches by means of this blog, online courses and webinars, as well as one-on-one remote sessions with persons located throughout the country and beyond.
craig's classroom blog is a place to come for short technology lessons - here on ActiveRain I focus on technologies for real estate professionals - please subscribe if you want to catch future posts! :)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.