Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mobilize Web Surfing

At first glance, web surfing is naturally in a mobile way. You can surf anywhere, anytime nowadays. However, the important data associated with web surfing are not mobilized at the begining. The most noteworthy example is your favorite websites. Traditionally, you have to store them locally in your computer, in a format only known by your chosen web browser. You have to copy your bookmarks around and import them whenever you use a different computer, or even try a new browser. That is possibly why web browsers are bundled with features like import/export bookmarks and even the tool to migrate bookmarks from competing browsers. Even armed with those weapons, you still have the problem of synchronizing your bookmarks between different computers; not to mention that the import/export process is really boring.

So here comes the so-called social bookmark, with the most successful example: As its name suggests, it is really a delicious tool to use. After registration, you can install browser extentions to make the service provided by to integrate with your browser seamlessly. Now you can access your bookmark anywhere: even on a computer without the extension installed, you can simply access your bookmarks by visiting the website. With the latest Firefox extension, one bookmark sidebar is installed, which gives you instant access to your bookmarks. In addition to these handy bookmark functionalities, you also get social effects. When you add one nice page to your collection, you now can choose popular tags which is automatically provided by the service by examining who else chosen to tag the same page. You now can select the right tag easily.

A more efficient way, compared with checking updates of your favorite web pages individually, is to syndicate them and process them in a RSS reader. Most web surfers have already done so. At first, we use a offline RSS reader, i.e. subscription file is stored locally and RSS updates are also fetched to local computer. A question then arises, similar to the bookmark problem: how can we read RSS updates in different places: e.g. work and home? We can synchronize the subscription (although tedious), but we then have to manually mark those already read in one place (note that typically new items pop up very quickly). Online RSS reader comes into rescue now. Simple register one, e.g. Google Reader, import your subscription file and start reading everywhere. For my own experience, the online reader can compete with the offline reader in almost every area, and the developing pace of such online readers is also extremely fast!

Yet another example is online notebook like Google Notebook. Remember those yellow stick notes? One certainly take many notes during web surfing. Now you can write and read them everywhere.

There seems to be endless examples to fully mobilize your web surfing experience: you can put your calendar online, write your report online, investigate your financial status online, or prepare your presentation online. Such experience is really excellent, and the only thing we should be cautious is to guarantee the network connection to avoid any agony.

No comments:

Post a Comment