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Search and you will find Techmeme

May 20, 2008 |  7:03 pm

If you want to know what's going on minute-to-minute in the high-tech world, there is no better place to point your browser than to Techmeme. Launched in September 2005, it's the remarkable brainchild of Internet entrepreneur Gabe Rivera. The service provides a real-time snapshot of what's generating buzz by pulling together the hottest headlines from blogs and news outlets on one page.

There was just one hitch: TechMeme had no search engine. It was a classic case of "Now you see it, now you don't," with the extra twist that you never will again.

"There's no keyword search facility that I can see," search-engine guru Danny Sullivan wrote when Techmeme launched. "I want that, and soon!"

It took a few years, but the blogosphere rejoiced when Rivera finally released search for Techmeme on Tuesday. "Techmeme listens: 32 months in the marking, search arrives!" Rivera noted in his usual sardonic style.

"Nobody wants to let Danny down, so I got right to work and 32 months later, a search box now sits atop the site," he wrote.

Rivera had a good reason to blow off search. He was focused on creating a site that "surfaces" what's newsworthy. But he says he realized he had to redirect his energies because so many people had become "dependent" on Techmeme. (A 12-step program is sure to follow; new-media executive Susan Mernit is already demanding RSS by tomorrow).

The way it works: Techmeme Search returns items that have appeared as full headlines in reverse chronological order. You can also narrow search results by URL, author, date and other attributes.

So how did Rivera find the time? One of the few solo acts of Web 2.0 finally broke down and hired his first employee: an old friend, Omer Horvitz.

Another old pal, TechCrunch's Mike Arrington, got the exclusive. Which lasted 10 minutes. An eternity in Internet time.

-- Jessica Guynn