Things, Connected To Things
You guys might wonder that I even care about SmartLinks, from AdaptiveBlue. I seldom, if ever, mention restaurants, books, recipes, movies, or any of the other things that Smartlinks are currently set up to work with. So why do I care?
Look at that last link up there again. Right there is your answer. I care because SmartLinks is about things, things you might already know a bit about, things you might want to know just a little more about. SmartLinks gives you that little more, just when you want it. And even on a site like Wordout, you never know when I might slide in some obscure Waffle House reference. Or I might refer to Hemingway, or decide to talk about how Google’s stock has never split. Yeah, I might do something like that.
Welcome To The Future
But that’s not the whole story. You see, the internet is more than just these screens flashing by in front of you. All these screens represent some thing, behind the images, beyond the words. It’s these things which are important to us, not these screens. And some things are connected to other things. We know that, but until now, our computers haven’t been able to make that distinction. SmartLinks begins to change all that.
AdaptiveBlue’s vision is to enable us to interact with these things, by providing quick relational links which understand that this is a book, and this is a movie made from the book, and this is the guy who starred in it. SmartLinks is the first tool to do that, and get it right.
In the email interview with Fraser Kelton, we talked a bit about SmartLinks. Here’s a short snippet:
Wordout: SmartLinks are automatically generated to find more info on the linked site. Does the linked site need to be a book, movie, music,stock, etc..?
Fraser: No, SmartLinks currently support 10 categories of objects. You can see the entire list here. We’re focusing on the most popular categories that individuals care the most about. Solving the semantic problem for the entire web, across all verticals, is difficult and won’t be realized for an awfully long time. We believe that bringing semantic understanding to a few critical, well defined, verticals isn’t just pragmatic but also delivers a lot of end-user benefit today.
Wordout: Some people might think there’s money to be made off advertising for Amazon and the others. Can a SmartLinks user get in on this and share some of that bounty?
Fraser: Bloggers can enter a number of affiliate ids when they install the products on their site and earn 100% of affiliate revenue that is earned. AdaptiveBlue does not take money for placement of the links in the pane, we earn money from affiliate fees.
Wordout: My site shows that nearly 70% of all my visitors are using Firefox. Can the BlueOrganizer addon enable a user to place SmartLinks on their MySpace or Facebook profile?
Fraser: Currently we support SmartLinks and SmartLink widgets on Typepad, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, general web sites, squarespace, etc. but we don’t currently support MySpace or Facebook. We’re working on a solution for these publishing platforms.
Installing SmartLinks on your blog or site literally takes less than 2 minutes, if you really take your time. And you’ll never have to go back and mess with it. If you want to customize your links, you can. If you want to make money off your links, you can. If you want to know if anybody is using your links, with the new Dashboard feature, you can. If you just want to provide a valuable service to your readers, you can.
The future of the internet is in getting past the screen and touching things, manipulating them, using them. It will take some time and alot of genius and luck to make it work, but it will happen. SmartLinks scratches the surface, shows us what is possible, if we’ll just do it. Think of the “verticals” Fraser talked about as the pillars holding up a great roof. SmartLinks begins to build those pillars and fill them in with walls. One day soon, when enough of the pillars have been built, the roof will be set on top of them, and the world will have changed before us.
I hope you’ll go back and read that last paragraph again, especially the last sentence. Take it with you. Walk around with it for awhile. Think about it.
Tomorrow we’ll be looking into BlueOrganizer, the best way I know of to manage and share your bookmarks and favorite places with the world. Click back to Wordout to see just a little more of the future unfold.
I am Jon, have been and always will be.