E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Snap Preview Anywhere – Now Available in elsua

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Yesterday I mentioned how over the course of the next few days I am actually going to introduce a number of different changes here in elsua in order to try to help improve the user experience not only for myself but also for yourselves, the readers of this weblog. So for the last few weeks I have been following up on a number of different offerings, services and widgets that I feel would be worth while exploring further and I have already decided on implementing a couple of them and see how things would go further from there.

One of the offerings that I have found quite interesting and worth while deploying over here as well is one that has created quite a bit of controversy out there in the blogosphere. To me though is perhaps one very interesting option, specially for those particular weblogs that have got a tendency to link multiple times to other various resources in a single weblog entry. Yes, indeed, I am talking about Snap Preview Anywhere.

I first saw it implemented in a number of the different weblogs that I follow and in most of them the reactions from the audience were rather positive and since I quite enjoyed myself I thought about giving it a try and so far I am loving the experience quite a bit. What a fantastic tool, folks!

The way it works is pretty easy. You just basically enter the URL of your weblog, or Web site, then enter a security token and your e-mail address, accept the terms and conditions and off you go. You get a javascript which you can include in your weblog template and ready to go. Well, it gets better, because there is also a WordPress plugin available for it (Notice as well that WordPress.com is already trying this very same tool in some weblogs) with which you would just need to have a key and activate it like you normally do with other different plugins and ready! You got to love WordPress. Nifty!

Thus from here onwards you would notice how I have added Snap Preview Anywhere over here in elsua and every time that you hover over a link or you head over to one you would see a small pop-up window coming up that would give you a snapshot or thumbnail of the link where you would be heading, so you can just have a quick look and decide if you would want to go there or not.

As I said, quite a nice addition to any particular weblog or Web site and worth while installing for those folks who tend to link quite often to other weblogs. Highly recommended!

Worth while sharing it along?
0 votes

6 comments

  1. Hi Andy!

    Thanks a lot for dropping by and for the feedback comments, including the link. I must say that I knew this particular service would bring some controversy forward to this weblog, and the blogosphere, for that matter. I have now read the weblog post you referenced above and I must say that although I agree with some of the different concerns put together what I have found most interesting has been the commentary with some mixed feelings all over the place, which basically means, that it is not just as bad as people think / feel. In particular, I have enjoyed Mike’s comments on the subject. That is exactly how I also felt about Snap Preview. In fact, one of the things that I have noticed ever since I first bumped into it is that it has helped me digest information and links way faster than having to have multiple tabs open to just see what the original links would read like. Yes, like Mike mentioned Snap Preview has certainly helped me navigate through information a lot faster and easier. That is why I decided to put it up in elsua as a way to help improve that user experience as well.

    I can certainly understand the issues about accessibility, but just because an application or offering is not very helpful with the accessibility issues there is no indication why you should stop using it. Actually, that is what feedback is all about. Providing feedback to the service in order to improve to address these issues is the way to go. Not just giving up on a tool because of the fact that it doesn’t meet the accessibility concerns. If that were the case we would not be using thousands and thousands of the tools we use on a daily basis. So the accessibility issues are there. Let’s fix them by providing feedback and not just giving up on the tool right away! That is how things work and this is not the first example we have seen.

    So for the time being I am going to be leaving this service up and running on the weblog and see how other folks would feel about it. If I get a whole lot more of my regular readers who may not enjoy this new option I will go ahead and remove it. So, folks, have your say and decide if the Snap Preview service stays or leaves. And if the folks of Snap Preview Anywhere are reading this weblog post I would want to encourage them to look into the accessibility issues and try to address in upcoming updates. We would all be much better off. For sure.

    Thanks again for the feedback, Andy! And I would ask you to bear with us all while more feedback becomes available on whether we keep it or not. I know that you may be reading this weblog with the RSS feed, but if you get to visit the site just ignore the previews ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Generally speaking I do read elsua through the feed, so to be fair it doesn’t bother me too much.

    Right now I am commenting and the browser is taking an age to just render each character that I type. You may have some performance issues. I have no idea if they are related to your snap preview, or to my browser.

    The thing about the preview is that I believe these things should be opt-in, not forced on me by the webmaster. Just a personal view. I realise that there is a lot of controversy on the issue. Ultimately, it is your site!

  3. Hi Andy ! Thanks a bunch, once again, for dropping by and for the additional input. Yes, that is what I thought. I know you are an RSS feed junkie, pretty much like myself, so this change would probably affect you very little, like you mentioned.

    However, I am finding it quite interesting your thoughts about commenting live from the browser and taking quite some time when I am doing that same thing myself and it has just taken me 2 to 3 seconds to fully open the site. I have tried this on all three major browsers and the same response on all of them, so I am wondering if it may be a browser issue at your end. Perhaps too many open tabs in FireFox. Flock worked for me really well. So not sure how much it would all be affected by this offering.

    You are spot on, I must say, about your comments regarding the option to opt-in and I am hoping that feature would be put together very shortly in a future release of the offering. More than anything because I am a big fan of having the end-user control their web surfing experience as well and not the other way around. However, if more of us continue to make use of the service and put some more pressure and demand to have a feature we would have much better opportunities to tailor them accordingly and have these features available. But if we just give up on it and stop using it right away how is the tool supposed to be improved in future releases? That is why, despite all of the potential issues, I am still making use of it hoping that some of the feedback we have been discussing over here and elsewhere would have a chance to be listened to and acted upon. That is what I am hoping for. If not, you are right. It will be gone pretty soon! We shall see…

    Yes, it is indeed my site, but you all, as my faithful readers, are an integral part of it all and I am hoping we can accommodate both points of view for the time being till we see some further developments. So keep those comments coming in and share your thoughts on whether this offering stays or leaves.

    Thanks again, Andy, for taking the time to reply here and for the feedback!

  4. Hi Andy! Thanks a bunch for sharing that link with us. Interesting read and very educational. I am not sure why, though, but it didn’t convince me just yet to remove it and probably it is because of the following link that I found a couple of days back and which clearly show that the Snap Preview Anywhere folks are really listening to people’s feedback, which, after all, is coming through from people who decided to give it a try and provide some constructive thoughts to improve the product. Here is the link: Snap Preview Anywhere End-User Options.

    As you would be able to see the SPA folks do really listen and are already putting forward some of those different changes that we have been asking for. So I think it would be a matter of time that the user experience would be improved tremendously and therefore be made rather useful for everyone. I think I am going to leave it for some time longer and see how all those changes and options would develop further.

    Thanks though, Andy, for the additional feedback comments and for the input. Very useful to bring the two sides of the story into play. Good stuff!

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