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From childhood on, every literate person uses notebooks to jot down and store information. My currenly favorite notebooks are made in Italy by Modo & Modo, and are called Moleskines. At the other end of the spectrum from a pocket notebook is the Internet itself, which can be accessed from a "notebook" computer. I like to think of the Internet as the notebook for the entire species Homo sapiens.
Once you have a notebook, you'll need a way to find stuff inside it. On the Internet, of course, there's Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. On the new Macintosh computer, there's Spotlight, sort of a personal Google. These tools make it easy to find stuff, but often it's too much stuff or the wrong stuff. That's why libraries started using keywords and subject headings for their catalogs. Then along came Jim Flanagan with a Perl script he called Zeitgeist, and BAM! word search was kicked up a notch. Flickr used Flanagan's approach to enable photographers to assign tags to their photos, and view them as a weighted list or tag cloud. The more frequently a word occurs, the bigger it appears (see above image), and sometimes the color is more visible. I started using a tag cloud for Jonathan's Coffeeblog here, and yesterday I switched to a newer and better service called Zoom Cloud. (To see a word cloud for my recent posts to the Coffeeblog, go to the archived version from July 2006 onward.)
Mark Bernstein, my hypertext mentor, has kicked word search up yet another notch in the latest version of Tinderbox, the high-powered notebook software which I use to create this blog. (See this.) The new Tinderbox version (3.5) creates word clouds for every single note, an entire file of notes (thousands, if you want!), or sections of an outline. Clicking on a word in the Tinderbox "Common Words" window will show all the notes with the same word. The notes can then be linked and exported to a public or private website. Cool. Very, very cool.Permanent Link to This Entry | | | Technorati Tag: Tagging
Word search for recent posts to Jonathan's Coffeeblog:
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