Saturday, March 29, 2008

Answer Tips and Snap Shots Enabled

I just installed a couple of nice tools in this site that you hopefully will find useful. I enabled Answer Tips here so you can double click any word in this blog and you get back the entry match from in a small pop-up window. You can either read more by clicking on the >> sign or you can click X to exit. Answer Tips works whether you are double clicking a word, a name or an encyclopedia entry. Snap Shots from on the other hand enhances links with visual previews of the destination site. Hovering your mouse over the yellow Snap Shot icon brings up the preview window, which then displays interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, Amazon products, inline videos, stock charts and more. Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave this site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not. Should you decide that you don't want to see previews of the links provided here, just click the Options icon (looks like a gear) in the upper right hand corner of the Snap Shots window and opt-out. My brief experience with these new tools just bowled me over. To have an online dictionary "embedded in a blog" and triggered by a double click of a mouse is just super cool! I don't think either one works at 100% yet but both are doing refinements in their technologies. I'd say that 99% of the time, Answer Tips gives you back an accurate reply. For whatever reason, there is that 1% that is not on with the program. Every now and then when you click on an ordinary word like "behave," you get back the dictionary entry for "politics." Hmnnn.. is this trying to tell me something? With Snap Shots, you get the correct previews 95% of the time, but there is that 5%, too. You will notice that documents in secondary or tertiary layers within a website, normally takes on the preview look of the main page. Now, I think this is a more significant issue because if I have three links to three different pages in, I don't really want to see the same preview for all three pages - where's the fun in that?


C.C. said...

Wow! Very cool!

DS said...

Thanks C.C. Congrats on your 100th! Here's to your next 100 posts!