The last time I wrote about blueorganizer, a full-fetched content bookmarking extension for Firefox from adaptiveblue, was back in May – and it certainly left me quite impressed. Now they're a sponsor of rev2 and since it's sponsor-writeup-catchup week for me (see the last post), I thought I'd follow up to my previous writeup and cover their release of version 2.5 and some of the major changes they've implemented. As always, I’ve tried to remain as unbiased as I can, and as both parties have agreed, our relationship doesn’t affect my opinion in any way (or vice-versa).
Bluemark via Highlighting
In the new version, what I like is that people can 'bluemark' through the context via highlighting. So for example, if I was going through a Wikipedia article on Snakes on a Plane (pictured right) and I suddenly remember that, being the great movie it is, it's not in my blueorganizer collection, I could easily do so by right-clicking on its name , waiting for about two seconds (this is quite smart) for the 'bluemark' link to popup in the context menu, and then simply clicking on it. What's more, blueorganizer detects, through the context of the page, the type of media it is. Here, since Snakes on a Plane isn't out on DVD yet, it's giving me the closest match which is the album. In this version it's only available for the things in the Amazon eCommerce API, but that's likely to change in the next version.
New Collections & Paging Capabilities
The way blueorganizer works is that every item fits into a 'collection.' Think of a collection as the top-most level category. Appropriately so, they've added 6 new collections in 2.5. These include: Apparel, Cars, Hardware, Restaurants, Software and Wine. In the next version they plan to add a Blogs collection, and soon after, Images, Video, and People. With the inclusion of so many collections, it's not hard to see how blueorganizer can be used to manage, track, and organize a lot of things in a person's life. Also included with the new collections, are some useful paging capabilities – when you have more than 25 items visible, it splits it into multiple pages so that it doesn't slow down Firefox in anyway. This doesn't interfere with the search function, and if you want to get rid of everything visible, there's a small 'trash' icon at the bottom to help you do so.
In version 2.5, a lot of customization capabilities have been added to blueorganizer. First, they've realized that not everyone is interested in every collection (for example, the 'Restaurants' collection is irrelevant to me because my region isn't supported in it), so, by going to 'Options' then to 'Collection Settings,' I can easily turn those which I don't want off. Additionally, they've also realized that I may not be into every 'action,' for example when I'm searching for movies, I might not trust Hollywood.com for movies, or I might not use eBay to buy DVDs. Simply enough, I can just go into 'Action Settings' in 'Options' and control the sources which I like, don't like, trust, don't trust, etc. etc. They've done a brilliant job of making sure that their presets don't overwhelm and overshadow the user's choices, options, and opinions.
Export & Share
Personally, I never use a service which doesn't put me in control of my data. By this I mean standard things like importing and exporting, publishing RSS feeds, sharing, etc. When I'm investing my personal life in using a service, I expect to be in control – and avoid any chance of being locked into it later. The folks at adaptiveblue have realized this, and I must say blueorganizer has some decent and strong sharing capabilities. For starters, a 'must' for any Firefox extension which requires a user to input data — import and export. If I decide to switch computers, or want to move data from here to there for any reason, I can simply export my bluemarks and collections to XML files and import them in the other place. What's more, if I have friends that are interested in keeping track with my stuff, I can publish RSS feeds for these collections and have them subscribe to it. If they like it, and have blueorganizer installed in their system, they can bluemark it as well. Additionally, if I have a blog or a MySpace page (anything that supports HTML), I can showcase my bluemarks as a slideshow or a filmstrip.
The first time I used the product you could quite easily tell I was fascinated, and this still holds true. They've done all they can to provide a complete, robust, and useful Firefox extension which certainly appeals. While the demographic for this kind of a product, at least now, is an early adopter geek-crowd, as this space populates and more and more consumers start to think smart – there's no certainty that it'll stay that way.
[tags]blueorganizer, adaptiveblue, bookmarking, firefox extension[/tags]