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Primal Fusion: are you ready for thought networking?

Presenters at technology conferences love to coin new buzzwords - and Primal Fusion's contribution is 'thought networking'. What does it mean? Here's what I could piece together.

You go to Primal Fusion and it asks you what you're interested in. You give it a topic like 'Social Networking' and it presents a tag cloud of semantically related concepts, things like reputation management or sharing. You choose from among those sub-concepts the ones you're most interested in learning about and the sources of information you want to tap, like Wikipedia, Yahoo News and Flickr.

You can then have Primal Fusion build a custom website with links to all the information it has found on the concepts you're interested in. Developers say they're working on functionality that will let you automatically create a document with the same information or an RSS feed.

Evri: Pop-ups That You Want?

Evri is a service aimed at finding content related to whatever content you're already reading. It powers features on sites like WashingtonPost.com that suggests other stories on the subject you're currently reading about.

You can also go to Evri's site and type in the name of a person, product, or thing you're interested in, and - if the noun is one that's in what seems to be a fairly limited database - Evri will show you a page with information sorted by type: a snippet of the Wikipedia entry in one corner, news stories in another section, and slider windows with related pictures and videos. You can also explore related concepts through an interesting visual interface.

Not enough? You can have Evri everywhere you go by loading it's browser toolbar. It will highlight every term on the page you're viewing for which Evri has information. Hover over the word and Evri pops up a box with related news stories, connections, images and videos.

I haven't spent much time with the toolbar, but even with Evri's limited database, it feels like there's too much highlighting going on the page. I'd stick to Evri's website instead.

How Simple: simply too much

Have you ever wanted to have 35 browser windows open on your screen at once? Neither have I, which is why I wasn't overly impressed with How Simple.

The system aggregates results from a number of search engines and instead of just showing you a list of hyperlinks along with snippets of information from each link, it opens each of the sites so that you can look at as many as 35 of them at a time - live.

I haven't been able to play with this capability (the site is in private beta), but unless you have a really large display, lightning-fast connection, and very good eyes, How Simple may be too much information.

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Edward N. Albro

PC World (US online)
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