Another browser add-on that leverages the page you are viewing

Via a page on the Facebook API I found BlogRovr. Like the Wikalong FireFox plugin, which adds a wiki to the page you are browsing, and MyStickies, which adds context sensitive sticky notes to the page, BlogRovr, sends the URL of the page you are viewing to a service that lets you know about blog posts that reference your current page. Rather than starting by reading the blog and finding pages, you find that people have commented on pages as you surf. Each BlogRovr uses sets up a profile of blogs that they want Rovr to examine for them. It makes me wonder if someone has made a plugin that takes the URL of your page and goes against del.icio.us, alerting you to pages that have been tagged there. Seems like this might be interesting.
The common thread here is that your browser is sending the URL of your page to a third party for each page you are surfing, and its linked to your identity. The power this gives you is also Big Brother and Big Marketer’s dream come true, so I am conflicted about it. As the myStickies folks note, its also a hog of server resources, checking all your URLs against their DB.

On the other hand, RSS aggregation can bring you more stuff than you want to read, or stuff to read when you are not ready to need the information. Wikalong and Rover approaches are more “just in time,” and I think the Rovr model is appealing because its looking into sources I think I want to read.

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One Response to “Another browser add-on that leverages the page you are viewing”

  1. SC Spaeth Says:

    Nils:
    Google uses a slightly different approach to meeting this need:

    http://www.google.com/tools/firefox/webcomments/index.html

    You don’t sign up for the service but Google may have another way to use your click-stream.

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