iCurrent monitors huge data and filters them matching the keyword

Content explosion is an age-old problem of the Net and we have introduced several tools destined to counter this cumulating on-line phenomenon. Here, NetSpeak revisits this issue and discusses a couple of tools meant for mitigating it.

Good old newsfeeds, blog/news site content aggregators and real-time search service are some of the tools that help us mange the ever-ascending on-line content.

Despite the existence of such content tracking tools, even savvy netizens find it difficult to keep abreast with the latest trends.

Though it is ideal to be up-to-date on everything that happen across the Cyberworld, our bandwidth to assimilate new topics is limited. This means, if we get bombarded with all kinds of information (even if it is relevant to our daily professional/personal life) we run the risk of getting drowned in the information explosion. One solution is to just focus on a specific theme, then collect only the stories related to it and just weed out the rest. The new content aggregator service iCurrent serves as a product catering to this idea.

iCurrent (http://www.icurrent.com/) monitors tens of thousands of blogs, news sites and other content sources and filters out the content that matches your choice of keyword.

From a variety of built-in channels, the service lets you generate your own channel by adding/deleting the content sources. Once the topics and the respective sources are selected, iCurrent creates a personal page for you with the latest content culled from the sources thus selected. On this page you will only find the latest stories pertaining to your topic. You can obtain the digest of these stories in your mailbox too.

Publishers can also play a role in taming the content explosion. They can assist the reader access the right content without wandering all over the Web.

Let us explore this concept further with an example. We know that a course web site or a topic blog has become an essential tool for an instructor.

Generally, this type of blog contains references to different topics and personalities. For instance, a blog post on ‘General relativity' may contain a reference to its author ‘Albert Einstein'.

Here, to know more about Einstein, the reader has to hunt all over the Net again and in this process he may even move away from the page.

However, if through some mechanism the blogger can automatically collect the information pertaining to the topic being handled (here about Einstein) from disparate sources and embed it in the blog post, she can make the blog content more engaging/valuable.

The ‘Topicblocks' (http://www.metaweb.com/topicblocks) service from Metaweb is a good means to accomplish this. Metaweb (recently bought by Google), the service that aggregates content pertaining to different entities (concepts, people and places) helps publishers easily aggregate content related to a topic. To use the service, access the Topicblocks (http://www.metaweb.com/topicblocks) link and enter the topic of your blog post. Once a topic is entered, Topicblocks collects all the content related to it and forms a content block. To embed this block in your blog post, just copy the code accompanying the block and paste it on to it (look at this example: http://knowledgecaps.com/metaweb.htm).

Epic browser

Browser is the primary tool to access the Net and nobody can afford to ignore even the minutest developments on this front. The trend in the browser market is to make it more versatile so that the user can obtain whatever he/she wants with a couple of mouse clicks. The grand success of modern browsers like Firefox and Chrome attests to this observation. Though these browsers have considerably simplified the web navigation process, their ability to pull/push non-English content is still not that seamless/encouraging. This makes a rightful place for browsers like Epic. This Mozilla based browser has several features that can certainly capture the attention of Indian netizens.

A significant feature of Epic (http://www.epicbrowser.com/) is its built-in facility that lets you input text in any of the Indian languages to invoke this feature, just click on the ‘Indic' icon and select the appropriate language. So, to conduct an IM chat in your local language you no more need to install any additional tools or extensions. The availability of a full-fledged word-processor (with Indic language support) is yet another advantage of Epic worth a mention.

A major attraction of Epic browser is the feature that allows you to watch/read Indian content with ease. News junkies, wishing to stay afloat with the latest local developments, will certainly appreciate the feature ‘Epic India' that dishes out a variety of news items — national, regional, cricket, finance and so on. You can even watch some TV channels (live) too.

Another appreciable feature of Epic is the built-in anti-virus/anti-spyware tool. Using this tool you can scan your local storage along with the files being downloaded from the Net. This author is yet to test this facility adequately.

Facility to archive full web pages or page snippets, built-in shortcuts to access popular applications like Gmail, Twitter and Facebook are some other extra features of this browser.

J. MURALI can be contacted at: jmurali@gmail.com