Friday, February 08, 2013

Long-Form Article Search

There is a lot of long-form journalism and magazine-style writing available for free online these days (see Longreads, Longform, The Feature, etc.). While there are more new articles published each day than most people can keep up with, I've often wanted to search for long-form articles on a particular topic. So, I threw together a quick Google Custom Search:

(You can access the search page directly here.) I didn't spend much time on this, but it turns up surprisingly good results, perhaps because even articles that peripherally mention your search terms are often still interesting. Some examples:

The search returns results from sources that (1) I think have generally good writing, (2) make some / most of their articles freely available, and (3) are amenable to restricting results to longer articles via URL patterns. (I had to exclude a couple sources that I wanted since their sites didn't meet criterion (2) and/or (3).) It's not perfect; e.g., searches for actors / directors will often turn up a lot of film reviews. But, it seems to work reasonably well. If you have any feedback, let me know.