Friday, September 21, 2012

Feature of the week: Bookmark previews

In the meantime, you'll probably know us, the BibSonomy team, a bit - we're scientists, IT enthusiasts - yes call us nerds ;-) which has one consequence when it comes to how we build platforms like BibSonomy: Adding new and cool functionalities really makes us happy (if you've ever built a similar system, I'm sure you know what I mean). Nevertheless, besides the ambition to optimize and develop things "under the hood", from time to time we're trying to make BibSonomy simply more beautiful. Our new layout was a major step hereby, and today's feature of the week is about a new kind of eye candy: Since our last release, you can see bookmark preview thumbnails next to each bookmarked web page:

What we basically do, is the following: Once every hour, we're taking a snapshot of every new publicly bookmarked website - that's what we display on the left next to the bookmark itself. The idea behind it (besides to make BibSonomy more beautiful) is to provide you visual cues for easier navigation: At least some pages have such a distinct layout, that one can recognize them quickly at a glance. This makes it unnecessary to scan all bookmark titles for the desired page.

Of course the thumbnails are quite small - if you hover over one of them, we display a preview for you:

As you can see (and as Folke already said in hist last post), taking snapshots of web pages can be somewhat difficult and dangerous: Web sites may be temporarily down, contain multimedia contents, be malicious, contain explicit contents, and so on. This is the reason why for some bookmarks, only a default image will be displayed. If you encounter anything within our brand new previews which is not supposed to be there, we'd be very happy to hear from you.

In any case have fun with our new bookmark previews, and happy tagging,

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