I discovered the perfect blogging timekiller today, while following a circuitous path through a maze of weblogs. It will provide hours of entertainment and will acquaint you with sites you would never plan on visiting.
It has been described as, “A stunning online service that shows exactly where a Web site lives in Cyber Space relative to other Web sites!”
Unfortunately, it is only another gee-whiz technical feat that is more amusing than useful at this state of development.
The TouchGraph GoogleBrowser, is a Java powered graphical tool that “relates” your weblog site to other sites. It is a cute piece of coding, but the output was of little real value. Your results might be different.
You enter your weblog URL and it displays this incredible network of sites that are related to you in some mysterious way. You can even click on a Google related link to see the sites that are connected to yours in this TouchGraph network.
I don’t know what the relationship algorhythm is, but it needs work. My list of related sites contained few sites that I would care to visit. Perhaps this application would work better with filter blogs than with an essay type blog.
It generated a lot of excitement when it appeared in early 2003. Some of the quotes were really enthusiastic. They all must have been drinking the same Kool-Aid.
(I have been there more than once myself.)
Bill Koelzer wrote about the TouchGraph GoogleBrowser in RealityTimes “Once you see your interconnected Web revealed to you on the Touchgraph GoogleBrowser, you will never be the same. This is because you will have actually seen that which you could only imagine before.”
USA Today commented: “Bringing some welcome clarity to the true ‘webbiness’ of the World Wide Web, [ the TouchGraph GoogleBrowser ] demonstrates visually how all the different sites that pop up under ‘related sites’ in the Google search engine are, well, related.”
Chris Sherman described the TG GoogleBrowser as “a fascinating way to see not only who links to whom, but also to uncover ‘hidden’ linkages between sites that on the surface appear to have no connection. It’s sort of like playing ‘six degrees of separation’ with a search engine.”
The phrase “hidden linkages” captures my feelings exactly. I used the TouchGraph GoogleBrowser for several hours and I still can’t make sense of the relationships.
Since you readers of this blog frequently demonstrate higher orders of cognitive ability, how about helping me out on this one? Use the Touchgraph GoogleBrowser and let me know what your experience is. Please let me know that you found a way to use the information on your graph.