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Preview: Cosmos Explorer Bar

Cosmos Explorer Bar

Conversation for Cosmos Explorer Bar

Published: 2003-05-21T12:33:03-05:00


Cosmos Explorer Bar


Using the Technorati API, I have created a "Cosmos Explorer Bar". It's a sidebar for Internet Explorer that automtaically displays the link cosmos of the web page that you are viewing. Navigate from page to page as you normally would, and the left-side explorer bar shows who is linking to that page:
There is no intervention required by the user, so it's even easier than a bookmarklet. It's great for bloggers who want to see who is linking to their blog. By surfing to your archive pages, you can get the link cosmos for each of your archive pages. It also enhances blog-reading -- as you follow hyperlinks from blog-to-blog, the cosmos is displayed in the left pane. This really shows blog conversations all on one screen. It also displays the total number of inbound blogs and links, a measure of the reputation of the blog you are reading (reputation....there's that word again). Navigate to a news story and suddenly you have alternative points of view appearing in the Cosmos bar (See this example from CNN). You can also visit company web sites, including the web pages of products or services: instantly you can see what people are saying about these companies and products. Here is an example from the Apple iPod page. Web pages often provide a singular view of subject matter -- the Cosmos Explorer Bar expands that view by exposing the (unsensored) voices of real people.

Cosmos Explorer Bar


This sounds great, much better than the Technorati sidebar I did a while back. So how do we install it?

Keep those great ideas coming!!!

BTW your pages look lousy in Mozilla - you may want to take a look at it...

Dave (baby in hand)

Cosmos Explorer Bar



There are still a fews bugs to work out with the Explorer bar, but if I posted an installer using my API key, I would hit the 500 limit in a hurry :-) There is also the bandwidth and CPU impact of API requests everytime a user loads a new page...any page. I probably hit a few hundred pages a day myself alone...

Thanks for the heads-up on Mozilla. I had checked IE and Opera, but not Mozilla. Mozilla wasn't loading my external stylesheet for some reason. I found the reason and solution in a blog entry from one year ago. Strange that this bug isn't fixed the the Mozilla Beta that I just downloaded. It looks a lot better now, though not perfect.



Cosmos Explorer Bar



You'll need to add a preference (or have the sidebar read a file or something) that contains the user's API key. There have got to be similar sidebars built using the Google API, perhaps puling one of those down and seeing how they handle the API key would be a good starting point.

I'd love to point to this when it is ready.

The pages look better under Mozilla now, the stylesheet fix you made must have done it.