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« Location: A New Type of Data | Main | Grouping Your Data: Folders vs. Categories »
Saturday
Jun252011

Just The Important Parts: Documents vs. Snippets

The Mashup App allows you to save into your personal database entire web and PDF documents, images, and complete audio and video content. The Mashup App also allows you to save into your personal database just the important parts of web, PDF, video, and audio content. And who decides what's important to you? You decide what is important and not the publisher.

Irrespective of the type of data, for example a document or movie, everyone recognizes that some parts of the content are more important than other parts. In fact many people wish they could just delete annoying ads or fast forward through the boring parts and get to the action. For the producer of the content, all of the content is valuable. But each consumer will assign their own value or lack of value to each segment of the content. This publisher-centric view of the content's importance is enshrined in both the desktop metaphor and on the web. On our computer desktop, we have to deal with files and the documents that they contain. You cannot extract the important parts of a document or a video or audio file and have those snippets and segments remained linked to their original sources. The best you can do is create a new file wholly separate and divorced from its original context. Without the broader context, a snippet by itself will eventually limit your memory of it and will dramatically limit sharing because of the inability to verify the broader context of the snippet. This can lead to allegations of taking a "statement out of context" and ultimately leads to a decrease in the value of the snippet.

On the web, we have an even worse problem because many types of web data types are read only and we cannot easily make a copy for our personal use. If you want to print a web page you will still get irrelevant ads and you generally have no way to just get the important parts that you want to memorialize. And if your browser allows you to save the content of a web page, the images are normally not saved on your computer but remain on the web. So you will have a partial solution at best. Audio, video, and even PDF documents are rapidly becoming read only content with no ability for the user to save a copy. This is all to the benefit of publishers and search engines who want to create scarcity and force you to continually perform the same searches and visit the same web pages. In the current web, the best most users can do is save a link to a web page and hope that the web page is not deleted.

The Mashup App solves many of these problems by providing a personal database in which you can save your digital data: the whole content or just selective parts. Each data item in your personal database knows from where it originated whether it is a local file or a remote web site. In this example, the user extracts a video segment from a 1 hour video:

The Mashup App allows you to save references to entire movies or just important clips. You can customize the poster image and provide a memorable description. 

You can group related subsets into one or more descriptive categories. In this example, a user has extracted and grouped only 2 audio clips from a 63 minute audio podcast:

The Mashup App allows you to save into your personal database a reference to the entire audio content or to a snippet of the audio content. In either case, you can group your audio content into a descriptive category-- perhaps with other types of related data.

 

In addition to audio and video content, The Mashup App allows you to extract just the important parts of web and PDF content:

The Mashup App allows you to manage very large PDF documents. You can group related pages together into descriptive categories and save them into your personal database. 

The user can edit their data and in case of web content, the user can delete ads and other irrelevant sections using The Mashup App's web editing tools:

The Mashup App provides web editing tools allowing the user to annotate important areas and delete irrelevant parts including images and ads.


In the following example, The Mashup App user decides to delete some irrelevant parts:

 

And after deleting the non-essential parts, the user can then highlight the parts that are important:

In addition to saving web content into your personal database, The Mashup App allows you to edit and annotate web content by highlighting important sections and deleting irrelevant parts such as ads.

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