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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Co Browsing and Information Management by Online Annotations and Notes

This is the fourth part and for now the last part of the co browsing software and tools series. At this article annotation tools and information sharing services with sticky notes at third party websites are introduced.

Online annotation services enable to share information about a site either by a social networking community or by sticky notes at websites. There are annotation services strictly for sticky notes and others are real social networks. The way these services do work is most different, too. Usually there is a browser plugin necessary to make annotations, but the information sharing can happen in completely different ways. As diverse as the services work so are the purposes they may be used for. But at all online annotation services are closer to clickstreams and used for information sharing even in a professional way opposite to co browsing with chat.

At first there are the social networks, where Diigo is probably known best and the service with the most features. Diigo works by a browser extension. It enables to make sticky notes and to share these notes by different means. Information can be tagged and there are buzz and top lists. To find like minded people and relevant information the service is stuffed with a recommendation engine. It is a real research and information sharing service, which is offering particular conditions to educators. Another annotation service that works with a browser extension is Fleck. Fleck enables social notes and information sharing.

Reframe It offers two different way to share information and to make annotations. This may either happen by a plugin or within the community. When browsing from within the community the information will appear within a sidebar. Too, collected information and annotations may be shared by emailing a link.

Another way of sharing information about a website is by citing it. kwout is a tool to share whole websites or citing parts of it. For sharing members get an own website or can post the citations to other social networks. Quotations are also a feature of SharedCopy.com. Annotations and quotes may be shared with others and posted to other social networks. A further step beyond does ShiftSpace. It is an open source software that even enables to change the look of a website for sharing.

Last but not least there are collaboratiion tools. A.nnotate and Stixy do enable to make annotations to uploaded documents, that may be changed or complemented by co workers.

There are a couple of further tools that have been reviewed lately at FOLDEN.INFO. If you are interested in these have a look at information management.

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