I signed up for a Sphere beta account late last year. I played with it a bit and like many “Web 2.0” apps, found it interesting, still in development and then I moved on. However, Andy Beal recently made a post about Sphere, so I checked it out again.
Today, Sphere V1.5 has been released and is publicly available. What’s new in this version:
- custom range histogram;
- sphere it bookmarklet that makes it easy to find blog posts that relate to what you’re reading on the Web;
- top queries this hour/ this week;
- RSS for search results;
- community feedback buttons throughout the site;
- expanded related media verticals including podcasts (Yahoo! API), books (Amazon API), and photos (CNET Webshots API);
- expanded related news articles coverage (over 50 mainstream news sites such as CNN, NYT, ESPN, Fox, USA Today to name a few);
- expanded profiles;
- featured blogs for 12,000+ keyword search terms covering over 500 broad topics including baseball, anime, food, web 2.0, tech news, knitting, culture, etc.; and
- a brand new back end that scales.
The featured blogs tool is nifty as is the custom date range. I’m not so sure about the search results, but am willing to give it a go for a while.
Once you do a search, you can suggest a featured blog as well as other media including photos, books and podcasts. Or you can suggest your blog directly. To stay on top of what’s happening at Sphere, check out the Sphere blog.