Content Curation: Why I'm Not Your Target Audience [en]

[fr] Je suis trop efficace avec un moteur de recherche pour être très emballée par les divers outils qui visent à organiser la masse de contenu à disposition sur le web, en temps réel ou non.

In Paris, I had a sudden flash of insight (during a conversation with somebody, as often). Most services designed to help with content curation don’t immediately appeal to me because I’m not their target audience: I’m too good at using search.

I was trying to figure out why, although I liked the idea behind PearlTrees and SmallRivers (I tried them out both briefly), part of me kept thinking they weren’t really adding anything that we couldn’t already do. Well, maybe not that exactly, but I couldn’t really see the point. For example: “PearlTrees, it’s just bookmarking with pretty visual and social stuff, right?” or “SmallRivers, we already have hyperlinks, don’t we?” — I know this is unfair to both services, and they go beyond that, but somehow, for me, it just didn’t seem worth the effort.

And that’s the key bit: not worth the effort. When I need to find something I’ve seen before, I search for it. I understand how a search engine works (well, way more than your average user, let’s say) and am pretty good at using it. I gave up using bookmarks years ago (today, I barely use delicious anymore — just look at my posting frequency there). I stick things in Evernote and Tumblr because I can search for them easily afterwards. I don’t file my e-mail, or even tag it very well in gmail — I just search when I need a mail. I don’t organize files much on my hard drive either, save for some big drawers like “client xyz”, business, personal, admin — and those are horribly messy.

I search for stuff. And to be honest, now that I’ve discovered Google Web History, I’m not sure what else I could ever ask for. It embodies an old old fantasy of mine: being able to restrict a fulltext search to pages I’ve visited in a certain timeframe. “Damn, where did I put this?” becomes a non-issue when you can use Google search over a subset of the web which contains all the pages you’ve ever loaded up in your browser. (Yeah, privacy issues, certainly.)

What about the social dimension of these curation tools? Well, I’m a blogger. I blog. When I want to share, I put stuff in my blog, or Tumblr. I’m actually starting to like PearlTrees for that, because it is a nice way of collecting and ordering links — but really, I’m not the kind of person who has a lot of patience for that kind of activity. Some people spend time keeping their bookmarks, e-mails, or files in order. I don’t — there are way too many more interesting things for me to spend my time on. So I keep things in a mess, and when I need something out of them, I search.

I think I’m just not a content curator, aside from my low-energy activities like tweeting, tumblring, and blogging.

It doesn’t mean there is no need for content curation, of the live stream or more perennial content like “proper” web pages. But just like some people are bloggers and some aren’t, I think some people are curators and some aren’t.

Extracting Web Apps From the Browser: Fluid and Prism [en]

[fr] Prism et Fluid sont des applications OSX qui vous permettent de créer des mini-applications qui sont en fait une fenêtre de navigateur (Firefox ou Safari) qui n'ouvre qu'une seule URL. Pratique si vous avez l'habitude de consulter Gmail, Twitter, Digg etc. via leur interface web.

This has been a productive morning for a lazy Saturday. A tweet from Tom Morris put me on the track of Fluid, and then Prism. (This is for Mac users, by the way.)

Fluid and Prism are both site-specific browsers, the first based on Safari, the second on Firefox. If you’re the kind of person who always had a Gmail tab open in their browser, and maybe another for Twitter, and for blog comments, and Google Docs, and for Friendfeed, and god knows what, you’ll like this.

Personally, the reason I like desktop clients is that they separate the web service I’m using from the browser. I can Cmd-Tab to it. I don’t see it all the time when I’m in my browser. I don’t lose the tab when my browser crashes.

Site-specific browsers basically allow you to create a simple application which is in fact a single browser window that opens up one single web page. Links in that web page, when clicked, get opened in your default browser.

I have now created “apps” for, Wave, and Gmail, so far. It’s as simple as filling in a small form with URL and title fields.

My only gripe is that I haven’t yet figured out how to replace the URLs favicon by another larger one as the app’s icon. Blown-up favicons are really ugly. I’ve found some sources of icons online, but am not finding all those I need, and clearly not managing to “install” them (I’m sure I don’t need to re-create my apps).

Flock, extensions, and coComment [en]

[fr] Une adresse de site pour convertir des extensions Firefox pour utilisation avec Flock, qui est un excellent navigateur. J'étais déçue de ne pas pouvoir utiliser l'extension Firefox pour coComment avec Flock -- maintenant je peux!

My ex-collegue and now friend Gabriel introduced me to the Flock browser quite some time back. I mentioned it quite a bit on my other blog but I don’t think I talked about here much.

Anyway, it’s great. It’s Firefox, but with all sorts of nice bloggy, flickr-y, stuff tied in. I’d like to get coComment integrated in there too.
(Disclaimer: I work for coCo.)

One thing that makes coComment really nice to use is the Firefox extension. Once you’ve installed it, you don’t need to do anything, and it automatically records all the comments you make (as long as the blog platform is more or less compatible to show them on your user page. Here’s mine.

The thing that bothered me when I started using Flock again sometime back was that I had to revert to using the bookmarklet (which, let’s be honest, is a real pain — who remembers to click on a bookmarklet before posting each comment? not I!) Today, as I was starting on my tour of the blogosphere to see what people are saying about coComment I came upon another Flock user who regretted the extension wasn’t compatible.

So, I headed to our internal bug-tracker to find out what the status of my request for a Flock extension was, and saw that Nicolas (coComment’s Daddy!) was asking for more information on converting extensions. I googled a little and here’s what I came up with:

Well, I installed the extension in Flock, restarted my browser, and after a painful start (wouldn’t be able to tell you if it was because of the extension or just good ol’ Windows acting up) it was up and running. I now have Flock running the coComment Firefox extension!

Let me know how it goes for you if you try it, particularly on other platforms. And if you haven’t tried Flock yet, you should. It’s really neat!

Problème de sécurité dans navigateurs non-IE (Firefox, Safari…) [en]

Un gros trou de sécurité dans nos navigateurs, semble-t-il. Pour une fois, les utilisateurs de IE ne semblent pas avoir de soucis à  se faire. Ne cliquez jamais sur les liens dans vos e-mails.

[fr] Shmoo exploit explained in French.

Je n’ai pas le temps de lire tous les détails, donc je vais laisser quelqu’un d’autre (avec peut-être des connaissances techniques un peu plus solides que les miennes) expliquer exactement de quoi il en retourne.

En gros, il semblerait que cet exploit fasse le bonheur des adeptes du phishing.

Si vous utilisez FireFox, voici les instructions données par BoingBoing:

  1. Tapez about:config dans votre barre d’adresses.
  2. Utilisez le filtre pour trouver network.enableIDN
  3. Double-cliquez sur la ligne qui apparaît pour que la valeur devienne false

Edit 09.02.2005: mise à  jour FireFox qui doit régler ce problème.

Comme je l’ai dit, je n’ai pas investigué cette histoire à  fond, mais les sources me semblent fiables. Revenez par ici pour voir s’il y a du nouveau. Gardez aussi un oeil sur le cosmos Technorati de l’article sur BoingBoing.

Au risque de se répéter: Ne jamais cliquer un lien dans un e-mail. Toujours copier-coller. Ne jamais cliquer un lien dans un e-mail. Taper l’adresse à  la main dans le navigateur.