Content aggregation tools renewed

November 13, 2011 09:37 pm | Updated 09:50 pm IST

A screenshot of

A screenshot of

The rhetoric of on-line content explosion has lost its news value, now it is a cliche, a commonplace notion that all and sundry knows. Though several tools exist for filtering content from this chaotic Web (such as news aggregators, content curation services and so on), our thirst for new ones continues unabated.

This edition of NetSpeak takes a re-look at this issue and introduces some of the new tools/services in the realm of content aggregation.

Ability to communicate effectively in English language is an essential requirement to survive in today's world.

As already discussed ( > ), a huge variety of language-learning materials are in place.

Of course, wandering all over the web, hunting for appropriate language learning aids, is not an amusing proposition. Instead, if all the relevant content could be gathered with a single mouse click (as and when we need), it would certainly reduce the friction in the learning environment.

If this concept appeals to you, you may enjoy the Chrome extension ‘Learn English' >(> ). Once installed, the extension plants a button on the browser's toolbar and by simply clicking on this icon, you will get access to a whole lot of english language learning services. The extension allows you to access a wide variety of language learning resources (tutorials, language teaching videos, radio/TV programmes in English, translation tools and so on) from a single interface.

Newsfeed aggregator

As you are aware, a newsfeed aggregator culls newsfeed content from subscribed sites and helps us read the latest information from our favourite sites through a single web interface. Google Reader is one such news aggregator that is quite popular among netizens. Recently, Google made some changes in its interface, which has evoked mixed response from its users.

One drawback of the current interface is the reduced screen space for displaying content. If you are one among such dissatisfied users on the look out for an alternative, check out Feedly ( > ), a newsreader that can sync with your Google Reader account. One advantage felt by this author is the facility to read content without any clutter. To help you use the service directly from the browser, it offers extensions for popular browsers such as Chrome and Firefox too.

Content curation tool

Identifying appropriate content sources and organising/archiving them under specific topics is the most challenging task of a netizen. Despite a variety of content aggregation tools in place, content curation based on the concept of the good old social bookmarking technology continues to be popular. Regular appearance of new feature-packed services based on this technology strengthens this observation.

In this regard, you may take a look at the free service Searcheeze, yet another content curation in this genre.

Searcheeze ( > ) lets you easily collect relevant content and keep them under appropriate categories on its server. To archive the content of a web page, you just need to use the bookmarklet button provided by the service. One advantage of this tool is that you can select any part of a web page and drop it on to its server. In addition, by making it ‘public' you can share the collected resources with anyone on the Net. Also, you can collaboratively populate the collections by inviting your friends or teammates.

File storage service

Aside the existence of numerous on-line file storage/sharing applications (such as Dropbox), many new ones continue to emerge.

The free file sharing service, Minus ( > ), is the latest of this kind tested by this author. For uploading and accessing files, besides a web interface, it offers a desktop client too. This upload client software is available for almost all computing and mobile platforms (such as Windows, Linux, Mac and Android).

The service supports extensions for popular browsers such as Firefox and Chrome too. Another advantage of this tool is that for each of the uploaded files Minus provides URLs for sharing files with ease.


For many, Mathematics has always been an anathema, a subject hard to learn.

Actually, this anxiety has nothing to do with the subject per se; but it has to do a lot with the way it is taught. How can anyone comprehend a subject, if it is taught in an abstract and mechanical fashion? Like other aspects of our daily life, the dawn of Net is changing the contours of Maths education as well.

A student of this age has alternative options to learn a subject and he no longer depends solely on his teacher. One can find a plethora of resources that make learning Maths a child's play.

One such tool developed for aiding Maths education is the GeoGebra ( > ), an interactive software that combines algebra and geometry. The software allows one to construct different geometrical objects such as line and circle by simply entering the corresponding algebraic equations (like y=2*x+12).

The significance of this tool is that it lets you manipulate the geometrical objects dynamically (by simply changing its parameters). Being a versatile and feature-packed tool, a beginner may find it difficult to exploit its full potential. To help those beginners, several tutorials are in place (like the ones hosted at: > and >

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