SurfSerf's Features and Applications
SurfSerf is meant to help you see where
you've surfed on the net and, as such, it is a tool for visualization.
As it follows you around, it builds up a graph of the sites you've visited
and shows the links that go you from one site to another. You can
use SurfSerf to see how and why you ended up where you are. But beyond
that, SurfSerf has a powerful set of features that lets you use it as much
more - from a bookmarking system to a training tool for new employees.
Here is a sample screen shot of an actual surfing
session as captured by SurfSerf...
Notice how SurfSerf presents you with a very intuitive way to visualize
the paths you've taken while surfing the net. Each site is associated
not only with the given title and URL but a name you can give it (or use
SurfSerf's best attempt at creating something meaningful from the URL)
as well as an annotation box for comments you have about the site.
The Big Surf
Each SurfSerf session can be saved for later
retrieval so that you can build up a large and continuous surf session
that can extend over days, weeks or however long. You no longer have
to worry about losing your train of thought as the web takes you to all
sorts of places. The world wide web becomes accessible in a way not
possible when you are confined to small surfing sessions.
The Clever Bookmarking System
Regular folder-based bookmarking systems can get
confusing very easily. Managing a large bookmark set is a tedious
task that is easily put off for a later date - until that day comes and
you realize your best strategy is to either throw it out completely or
to spend a full day cleaning it up. The real problem with such a
bookmarking system is that it imposes an order that is hard to realize
while you are surfing in a spontaneous fashion. How did you know
that the site on potatoes should have gone in the "vegetables" folder when
you had already placed it in the "idaho" folder? This was before
you found so many nice sites on vegetables that you decided to create a
folder just for them?
SurfSerf captures the way you surfed on the
internet and so the relationship between sites can be seen. That
is something a bookmarking system simply cannot do. After surfing
for a while, you can save your session and then go about deleting
nodes that have nothing to do with vegetables and finally, when you are
ready, save it to disk for later reference.
Say your company has created an intranet site that
it hopes will serve as an introduction for new employees. Unfortunately,
the system is so big that the new employees find it confusing if not intimidating
- not at all the what you want to welcome the new people. Giving
them a sitemap seldom helps as that is not a very friendly way of helping
them to familiarize themselves with your site. In the intranet world
they have to enter they need more than a map, they need directions.
Using SurfSerf you can give them a step-by-step tour of your intranet.
You can use SurfSerf's recorder to create a path to take through
your site that you think would be the best for new employees. Then,
when a new employee is thrown into a new environment and given only an
intranet that is almost as confusing and complex as a guide, you can make
their transition an easy and pleasant one by offering them a journey
you've created just for them.
But wait, there's more...
With SurfSerf, the world wide web is no longer a
place to get lost in anymore. Instead, it is a place that you can
see ever more clearly and, as such, use it to a much greater potential
than ever before. You can search for sites in your SurfSerf
graph by name, title, URL or even a phrase in your annotation. All
the links you've taken is kept by SurfSerf but displayed in such a manner
as to keep things unclutterered. These and other features are all
described in the User's Guide.
Conquering all of the web may be an impossible task
but, with SurfSerf faithfully following you, you can know your little corner