Welcome to the 10th anniversary edition of NetSpeak. Yes, NetSpeak, started on Februrary 16, 2000, turns 10-years on February 16. It is heartening to note (from your letters) that NetSpeak has enriched the Web navigation experience of many netizens by keeping them abreast with the latest trends.
We take this opportunity to thank all our readers/well-wishers for their unstinted support/encouragement and hope they will continue to do the same. Enough rhetoric, now back to business. This edition of NetSpeak features a few tools that help us discover new content with ease.
Besides search engines, there are umpteen means to discover or stumble on new content. Domain specific blogs, relevant news feeds, specific discussion boards and tracking twitter content are some of them.
Among these tools, Twitter holds a unique position as it helps you discover real-time content. In fact, it is fast becoming the primary means to discover new content. But one shortcoming of twitter content is that unless you pick the tweet as soon as it arrives, it is more likely to be missed. If you follow several people this becomes all the more critical. So, the question boils down to this: how to bring some order into the ever-flowing stream of tweets and make them easily accessible? The service Feedera attempts to solve this Twitter content overload with good old e-mail technology. Once signed up with the service and linked it to your Twitter account, Feedera organises your Twitter content (under themes such as stories, photos and videos) and sends a digest via e-mail daily.
While on a web page, if by some means we can automatically harness all the content related to the one being read, it will certainly boost our web navigation efficiency.
If this content harvesting mechanism works well, appropriate content will get pushed to us effortlessly. This is the context in which the tool Glydo, the free Firefox extension comes in.
Once installed, Glydo plants a few icons on the bottom of the browser and through these icons one can access the related content. When you are on a page, Glydo analyses its content, culls the content related to it from different Net sources and presents them under specific categories. The service offers related stories, tweets, videos and web pages and each of these can be accessed via the icons meant for it. Of course, the tool is not fully perfect and the content being displayed may not always be related to the current one.
Similarweb is yet another Firefox extension that can be used to locate sites with similar themes. Once installed, it keeps an icon on the toolbar and by simply clicking on this icon one can obtain a list of web sites related to the one being viewed. This tool performs better if you are on a topic specific web page. For instance, if you are on the page Learners TV, a site with educational videos, it is likely that you stumble on several relevant similar links via this tool.
Yet another tool worth a look for discovering sites similar to the one being read is the Firefox extension from ‘Similar sites’.
We have seen several means to post on to Twitter directly from the browser. The Firefox extension TwitterBar is another one of this kind.
The advantage here is that it enables you to post the current web page link directly from the browser address-bar. Once installed, you will find a blue icon on the right-end of the Firefox address-bar.
To post the link on to Twitter, just click on this icon. While doing Net-based workshops this could come in handy as it helps you easily post the link to the workshop’s Twitter page.
While doing research with the web, we come across lots of on-line materials and to access them with ease, we organise the materials into appropriate categories and keep them on-line.
A service that was heavily used for this purpose was Google Notebook. As mentioned in the past, Google has stopped its development and is no more available to new users. An on-line notebook service that is fast gaining popularity is Evernote.
This service allows you to easily grab web content and keep them as pages of a notebook. Depending on your requirements you can create any number of notebooks.
To make the notebook creation process easier, the service offers client software as well. In addition, Evernote provides extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
Another advantage of Evernote is its Twitter integration that enables a Twitter user to send tweets to his/her Evernote account.
The steps to be followed to connect one’s Twitter account with Evernote, is outlined here.