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Mmmm. Liquid Information.

Bored with normal solid information? Liquid Information is an ambitious research project dedicated to extending web users and creating a more flexible work environment. It turns web “browsers” into web “readers” and its goal is to “wake people up to the possibility of interactive text”. It “turns words into hyperwords”.

Or at least that’s what I’ve gleaned from reading the Liquid Information site. As for reality, it appears that they’ve created a simple JavaScript pop-up system to give you a menu (with options like dictionary links, highlighting, and Google searches) for each word you hover over, and they’ve created a server-side script that converts any page to use it: here’s CNN with hyperwords and here’s The JavaScript hyperweblog.

I must admit I’m not too excited at the make-any-word-a-link aspect of this. Most of the features are already built into Firefox or the Google Toolbar, or are easy to add in other ways. But they seem to have some interesting ideas here and there, and the idea of using a server-side utility to add JavaScript functions to pages (rather than a Firefox extension, bookmarklet, or something like Greasemonkey) is interesting—at the very least it’s much easier for non-geek users to implement. [via Metafilter]


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Reader Comments

1. Posted Feb 1, 2005, 9:09 AM ET by jbot

Words into hyperwords, eh? What's new in this. That's what all hypermedia is. Linkified text. That's all. What a waste of time. What, they need research project just to cover the same ground as the past 10 years of the internet? Yeah right!

2. Posted Feb 1, 2005, 10:10 AM ET by Jeremy Dunck

Jbot: Well, there's the slight difference that the client, and not the server, is responsible for the linking.

This difference is in the same space as the difference between syndication and spam.

And it's perhaps not a bad way to link-in annotation services...

3. Posted Feb 3, 2005, 6:40 AM ET by jinesh

heyy,,it's a lot like YIQ, yahoo's contextual search, it dosn't link the entire page though..

4. Posted Feb 11, 2005, 11:48 AM ET by Jon

Found this link via some musings of Shaun Inman.

" I must admit I�m not too excited at the make-any-word-a-link aspect of this."

I have recently finished a personal project directly along these lines, click the link on my name to see it.

The jist of it is that every word (or word block) within an area of content becomes a link to it's own area of content.

One major problem i have found is that often single words don't do a subject justice, so I have had to develop a system where by important topics are grouped via phrases, these phrases are then linked 'this-is-important' rather than 3 sections 'this', 'is', 'important'.

My initial concept was that community based discussion areas often had a huge amount of replication and by forcing every word (block of words) to a specific place you could see easily what was already under discussion.

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