ZiefBrief is just back from a quick Lexis update, in which we were surprised to stumble on a blog search source (aptly, if a bit redundantly, named "Web Blogs") in the LexisNexis News & Business materials.
It's not completely clear how many blogs are included, but we're guessing maybe a couple of dozen, including Wonkette. [See update, below.] The collection appears to start with January of 2006.
Two reasons occur to us: (1) to retrieve a manageable sample of what a few well-known blogs are saying about a person or issue; or (2) to be able to exploit all of the power of Lexis searching, including the use of proximity connectors (such as w/s or w/p) and ultra-precise date restrictions. [It can't hurt that LexisNexis treats each blog post as a discrete document, either. 7.10.2006.]
If you're a LexisNexis subscriber, here's how to search the LexisNexis blog collection.
Sign on, then, in the "Look for a Source" box, select the "News & Business" tab, then "Combined Sources" and then "Web Blogs." (For Lexis geeks, the short name is: NEWS;BLOGS.) The Web Blogs source is also included in the "News, All (English, Full Text)" source (short name: NEWS:ALLNWS).
[Update, 7.10.2006] Here in St. Louis at the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries, ZiefBrief managed to get some hard data on Lexis's new Web Blogs source. First, the source contains 425 blogs, many more than ZiefBrief guessed earlier. Second, LexisNexis has advice on incuding and excluding blog content from search results in news group files (such as "News, All").
To limit your results to blog content, add the following to the rest of your search:
To exclude blogs from your search, tack this on to the end of your search:
and not publication(blogs)