Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
Everyone’s favorite semantic browser add-on, social network, and content recommendation system Glue is today rolling out upgrades across its system that will bring its tools into your search results and your daily blog reading.
Quickly, if you have never heard of Glue, it is a browser add-on for Chrome and Firefox that tracks where you go around the internet. By ‘liking’ different things (movies, wines, etc) around the internet via the Glue toolbar, the service recommends more items to you based on your history. They even made a game out of it, rewarding you for liking numerous items in one category, and finding new things online before anyone else in the service.
Glue until today worked in two main ways, via their website and their bottom-of-the-screen toolbar. That is changing today with Glue coming inside of your common browsing experience, helping you while surfing the internet. Glue is placing a chiclet next to certain words on certain websites that will give access to information that Glue pulls in from around the internet for you surrounding that topic. It looks like this in Google:
See that little grey square? Those are now sprinkled around your favorite blogs and search engine of choice if you have Glue installed, letting you grab more information without leaving the page that you are on. If you are a ADHD web surfer, the extra information that you have access to is surprisingly useful. Of course, it also recalls what you have done on Glue previously. When I pulled up a chiclet box for the band Muse, Glue recalled the fact that I have “disliked” them:
The popups bring in numerous pages of information around the topic, and in true social style allows you to share what you have found on Facebook and Twitter.
Glue has indexed millions of things around the internet, finding relationships between them, and mining their information. This is an extension of all that work. For Glue to notice a topic, and load information that it has indexed about it is little strain to their algorithms, but can be quite handy if you are trying to find out a little on a large number of topics.
In my testing, the load times for the popup were fast enough for passable usability. I would appreciate more speed, especially in the YouTube embeds, but it is sufficient out of the box. My only complaint is that the chiclets for the new functionality are not in as many places as I would like.
When I was first shown the feature, I was concerned that it would be an annoyance like the mouse-over popup ads that we all hate so much. Happily, I have yet to be bothered by it in that way. It is new, and that could change.
Will this help Glue find new users? Probably not. But it will keep the Glue faithful tied to the company. Glue keeps on adding features, improving on an already fun, innovative, and useful product, what is not to like?
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