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Friday, November 23, 2007

Services you could find useful

1) Archive.org

OK well you probably heard about this one actually. Archive.org, also known as The Internet Archive, has branded as “Wayback Machine” its Web-snapshot technology. Thanks to this technology you can browse archived versions of most of your favourite websites. Snapshots are taken every month or so, pictures won’t be captured most of the time, and more importantly you won’t be able to go deeply in the website hierarchy - you are limited to the links featured on the welcome page. It doesn’t work with Flash either.

So they are plenty of drawbacks…but then it is so cool if you want to feel a sense of nostalgy ….

2) Compete

Most of you would probably have heard about Alexa, a top-notch web traffic measurement tool. Despite having been heavily criticized by many pundits or bloggers (including TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington), Alexa is just unrivaled.

Or is it ?I have tried Compete, a similar Ajax-based service that features a more straightforward interface. And guess what: it is slightly quicker, results are as good if not better, and the neat, Google-like interface is a must. I mean - these traffic metering tools will always be partly useless because their data is just wrong. But website traffic comparison might eventually come close to the truth, and give you an idea of how a site competes with another. .. adopted as soon as tested !

3) Summize

Online reviews are cool. For example I am personnally interested by what other users think about a book I am planning to purchase (er, OK, right, I must confess I don’t read many books). The problem is that, if I can find most of the time plenty of point of views on Amazon, there are no clear equivalent for other products such as PCs, iPods, CDs, etc…There are some online vendors with a decent traffic, and probably the reviews are actually there - however they are scattered around various websites.

This was before Summize came. Summize is a “search engine for reviews”. Just type in the name of the product, and you’ll have a visually compelling display of the popularity of the product, indications about its price, and qualitative reviews from various sources. Of course Amazon is the main source but if the service manages to get other partners in it this might turn out to be an excellent service, much better than the usual shopping comparison websites. Although I doubt they can convince many sites to get in. Anyway, make your own opinion about this tool, which potential matters more than its actual possibilities.


Tech it easy
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