Tuesday, December 20

My Auto-Conversion WISH to Delicious, Scoop.it & Co!

Have you seen this great collection (Click the link!!!)?

Alright, it is not great, but it is a useful list of links (URLs) to mostly free learning repositories and resources (that needs to be updated!). Now, how can I CONVERT this web-page full of web links into a visually mind stimulating magazine/newspaper (web-page) in an efficient manner? 

I could add one link at the time to Delicious or Scoop.it...STOP! Isn't happening!!!

Now, imagine how many web-pages there are of link collections (from A-Z) curated by people around the world? As of now (this millisecond), there are exactly 22,679,232 such web-pages on the WWW. Don't ask me how I got that figure! 

 No, what if...

Now, what if we could feed tools like Delicious and Scoop.it with a URL (e.g. http://zaidlearn.blogspot.com/2008/06/university-learning-ocw-oer-free.html), and then the curation tool would auto-convert the link collection into a more visually stimulating web-page with thumbnails and short descriptions customized to our preferences. From a coding point-of-view, I doubt that would be difficult for a good programmer (count me out!).

Of course, after feeding it the URL it will recognize all the broken-links (so we can update or delete), and allow us to 'Select all' or those that we want to be visualized in our stunning magazine/newspaper/or whatever you want to call it!

Better yet, it will have a nutty, but stunning algorithm wizardly auto-arranging the sites on our magazine/newspaper according to (Google) ranking, relevance, rating, etc. and allows us easily to change views according to our preference. 

Wow! Finally, we surely want to keep our old view collections (URLs) intact, so after converting, we can add our converted version URL to it in a creative manner; just like adding an icon for PDF version. Yes, now we have the Magazine/Newspaper version (icon), too.       

Then someone is going to spoil my idea by telling me that we already have a browser plugin (or a widget we can add to a site) that enables us to see a screenshot of the site automatically by hovering over the link (URL). Well, that is cool, but that is not what I want!

Social Curation Tools... PLEASE read my auto-conversion wish above and INNOVATE! If you already have such a feature or something similar...PLEASE voice out!

So, is my idea doable? Without spamming the world... :)


Marc Rougier said...

Dear Zaid,

I read your suggestion with interest because when you challenge us to innovate, we are excited :) (ps: I'm the president of Scoop.it).

Technically, it's doable. And I understand the value of a nice looking magazine layout instead of a flat list of links.

The questions is: how will you read a magazine with 22,679,232 posts? Isn't the value of curation, precisely, to extract only the "must read" ones, and also to enrich them with personal perspective and context? I believe that what you request is automated format parsing and not social curation, which very purpose is to insert a human value between massive information and readers.

This is why, in Scoop.it, we value this human act so much and we do not implement fully automated population of a topic. We have a word for it: humanrithm; algorithms are here to help (in our suggestion engine, for example) but the human curator validates, and edits, the final choice.

Now, thank you for sharing this idea, we will give it due consideration, and I suggest you raise it in our suggestion forum: we use it to collect and debate ideas with our users to better define our road map.

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Marc Rougier,

Thanks for popping by and sharing your reflection. However, I believe you misunderstood the "22,679,232 posts" statement in the blog post, which was meant as a joke (as I am clueless of how many such web pages there are).

And then you probably got lost in translation, which also shows that I need to improve my ability to clarify ideas, so that game changers like yourself understand and can innovate (if they are useful).

What I was trying to say was that many people have curated awesome web-pages full of juicy links (human intervention filtering out the juice), and wouldn't it be cool if those human curated web-pages (of link collection) could be converted to Scoop.it or Stack (delicous) mode within a few clicks (and then customized as discussed in the post). SWOOOSH! WOW!

So, hopefully that clarifies better what I was trying to say in my 'WISH' post.

Again, thanks for popping by and sharing your feedback and ideas... RESPECT!

Warm Regards,


Tony Karrer said...

Would the curated pages live on your blog or the other site? Part of the value for you is the traffic you get from the curated list post.

Do you need to be able to edit the descriptive text?

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the questions!

Would the curated pages live on your blog or the other site?

Answer: Why not both?

Part of the value for you is the traffic you get from the curated list post.

Answer: Agree (you could show 'Views' on your visual and text versions, and then you can do comparative analysis)

Do you need to be able to edit the descriptive text?

Answer: Yes, freedom to edit, rearrange, and filter out what suits you. Flexibility with simplicity is the key. Also, you need to have a slick algorithm (beyond humanrithm) to auto extract nicely the key elements, so that we get great output with minimal effort... YES!

Thanks Tony! I would love to hear your ideas to amplify the auto-conversion idea to the next level.

Warm Regards,