Shiftspace: A browser extension (by Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv, ShiftSpace) that enables collaboratively annotating, editing and shifting the web.
What is it: Shiftspace, like my project, was inspired by the control over how user interact on the Internet. In 2007, the Shiftspace team managed to implement 4 different style of interaction on the meta layer created by Shiftspace. Users can put "Notes", highlight text, replace images, and even edit the source code of a website collaboratively. The project didn't last til today. In fact, their official demo page and website is not accessable.
Good: When I came up with the idea of my project, I had a sense that someone must already made something that enables webpace specific comments. Here it is: a chrome extension made just for that. User can develop new plugins for Shiftspace. User can make a "shift" that connect other pages of website, forming a network of links. The shifts show some relevent information such as the time when something is posted. The idea can be revolutionary, it is worth thinking why such promising project failed eventually.
Bad: The interface is not very convenient as users had to press
SPACE and then click one of the button to use it. The big note can cover important contents of the webpage (they should be made transparent when the cursor is near). The image-swap and sourcecode edit is too invasive and will eventually make user confuse on whether it is the original content of the website. The extension do not intent to store any information about the author of the comments, which disables making personal connections between website commentors.
Inspirations: There are of course many challenges to this idea. The most important one is that how can one know the two website links are pointing to the same content. Taking the Youtube link for example, two distinct videos are stored under a query
?v=xxxxxx of video id, but other queries are about giving Youtube meta data. We would like two notes about the same video, although browsed in slightly different
url, appear together. It is challenging to achieve this. Other problems involves the long-tail distribution of visitors. How do you manage comments in
https://www.google.com main page? How do you balance comments with original content? A seemingly simple extension would take a lot of efforts to make.
Golan Levin's List of Browser Extensions: - Melanie Hoff’s Decodelia (2016) uses principles of color theory to transform the way a web browser renders pages, making their content legible only to those wearing red-tinted glasses. https://melaniehoff.github.io/DECODELIA/ - Jonas Lund’s We See in Every Direction (2013) connects all of its concurrent users in a collaborative browsing experience. http://ineverydirection.net/ - Steve Lambert’s Add Art (2008) plugin for the Firefox browser automatically replaces online advertisements with art. http://add-art.org/ - Newstweek (2011) by Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev is a custom Internet router that enables the artists to alter how news websites appear to other people on their WiFi network. https://julianoliver.com/output/newstweek - Us+ (2013) by Lauren McCarthy and Kyle Mcdonald is a dystopian add-on for Google’s video chat software. Using facial analysis, speech-to-text, and natural language processing, the Us+ software analyzes the users’ conversation and attempts to offer suggestions for improving their interaction. http://lauren-mccarthy.com/us - Todd Anderson, Hitchhiker, 2020, browser extension for live performance. - American Artist, Looted, 2020, website intervention. - BookIndy, BookIndy: Browse Amazon, Buy Local, 2015, browser extension. - Allison Burtch, Internet Illuminator, 2014, browser extension. - Brian House, Tanglr, 2013, browser extension. Daniel C. Howe, Helen Nissenbaum, and - Vincent Toubiana, TrackMeNot, 2006, browser extension. - Daniel C. Howe, Helen Nissenbaum, and Mushon Zer-Aviv, AdNauseam, 2014, browser extension. - Darius Kazemi, Ethical Ad Blocker, 2015, browser extension. - Surya Mattu and Kashmir Hill, People You May Know Inspector, 2018, app. - Joanne McNeil, Emotional Labor, 2015, browser extension. - Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv, ShiftSpace, 2007, browser extension. - Radical Software Group, Carnivore, 2001, Processing library. - Sara Rothberg, Scroll-o-meter, 2015, browser extension. - Rafaël Rozendaal, Abstract Browsing, 2014, browser extension. - Joel Simon, FB Graffiti, 2014, browser extension. https://www.joelsimon.net/facebook-graffiti.html - Sunlight Foundation, Influence Explorer, 2013, browser extension.
Title: Rafaël Rozendaal, Abstract Browsing, 2014, browser extension. Description: turn webpage into abstract art Web: Website
Title: Joel Simon, FB Graffiti, 2014, browser extension. Description: paint on facebook image Web: Website
Title: Joanne McNeil, Emotional Labor, 2015, browser extension. Description: turn your email into a very emotional version Web: Website
Title: Brian House, Tanglr, 2013, browser extension. Daniel C. Howe, Helen Nissenbaum Description: When you browse, your partner is taken to the same urls. Web: Github
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