Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bookmarks come alive!

Just when I was tempted to feel cocky about my knowledge of Internet matters (and I’m more than tempted) a non-webby colleague yesterday introduced me to Live Bookmarking.

I had never heard of Live Bookmarking, despite the fact that I have been using Firefox pretty much since its beginning. Firefox offered it back in 2004 and even Internet Explorer with version 7 has it now.

For those who may not know what Live Bookmarking is (and I hope there are many others so I won’t feel so bad) it allows sites using feeds to have many syndicated articles appear dynamically as a unique bookmarks within a bookmarks menu.

If you’re already using RSS or Atom, one line of code will turn this feature on. For users, sites that offer it will have an orange RSS icon in the address bar - just click on the icon and follow the steps.

Here’s more in-depth info and how-tos on Live Bookmarking

In researching Live Bookmarking, I discovered more fun with bookmarking that I was missing out on (okay when the browsers threw their Bookmarking party, why wasn’t I invited?) – that is Microsummaries!

Microsummaries allow for the title of a bookmark to be dynamic and have salient points included rather than a static page name. Setting it up seems to involve special generators that seem too complicated for my needs. However, from a user perspective a mircosummary can let you see at a glance the up-to-date status of a webpage. The best examples I saw were for pages that are updated very frequently and have all crucial points in a few words (eg. stock lookup pages, auction item status, delivery status for orders, etc.).

Microsummaries are only available in Firefox 2.0, so I had to update my browser to get it (haven’t had a chance to test drive the other enhancements in 2.0 – more on that in the days to come).

To choose the microsummary version, just bookmark a site as usual, but under the Name field you'll have a drop-down menu, just choose from a "Live titles" items.

Mozilla Wiki has a great in-depth guide to Microsummaries and Mathaba News offers and article on the topic and they are using it so you can try it out by bookmarking their site.

Until yesterday I thought a Favicon was a great thing to add zest to bookmarks (I still haven’t been able to get one for my company’s site yet either). At least I’m finally at the Bookmark Party now - with our without an invitation.

1 comment:

Glen Farrelly said...

More from Glen: Microsummaries actually change the words of your bookmark. It does seem to require special coding but I haven’t had time to figure it out.

Here’s an example I bookmarked Rogers stock lookup on Yahoo Finance. My bookmark says “RCI-A.TO: Summary for Rogers Communications” and it will always say that. If they were using microsummaries it could dynamically have the stock value and say: “RCI-A TO: 72.80” or whatever the stock is trading at.

So for a blog instead of saying just “Webslinger” it could have “Webslinger: [latest post title here]”

I read more on how to actually do it and it seems painfully complex.