Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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4/1/2009
10:45 AM
David Berlind
David Berlind
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ReviewCam: Apture Takes Hyperlinking To A New Context And Depth For Any CMS

At Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, I had a chance to catch up with Apture CEO and founder Tristan Harris to "shoot" a ReviewCam movie of Apture's innovative cloud-based hyperlinking service that seems to automagically work with any content management system. What's special about Apture is how frictionlessly it adds new levels of context and depth when hyperlinking something (e.g.: text) in ways that the native CMS (egg: WordPress) could never do and it does this (a) by adding only a bit of Javasc

At Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, I had a chance to catch up with Apture CEO and founder Tristan Harris to "shoot" a ReviewCam movie of Apture's innovative cloud-based hyperlinking service that seems to automagically work with any content management system. What's special about Apture is how frictionlessly it adds new levels of context and depth when hyperlinking something (e.g.: text) in ways that the native CMS (egg: WordPress) could never do and it does this (a) by adding only a bit of Javascript to your templates and (b) without even having to go into your CMS's content authoring console. For end users of your content, the results are just as slick.To be honest, Apture is one of the few services or products that I've seen this year that leaves me with my head shaking wondering exactly how it does what it does. If you're a blogger or are authoring Web-based content and you hyperlink your text, images, etc., Apture will make you forget your CMS even has it's own way for doing that hyperlinking. Instead, all you need to do is publish your content (eg: a blog post) with no hyperlinks at all, and then go to the live page and start hyperlinking anything you want on the page.

Once you start adding hyperlinks to the page, as can be seen in the ReviewCam below, Apture takes over by studying the text you're about to hyperlink and then mining potentially relevant linkage from the Web (sorting the results by type such as blogs, videos, etc.). You can also very easily add direct links to your own content (in other words, links that Apture might not readily discover).

Once the links are added, the resulting user experience (when links are clicked) are small pop-up windows that take you directly to the hyperlink's destination but presenting it in a way that actually makes pop-up windows very tolerable. Even better, the pop-ups that Apture throws up offer additional relevant links based on what was found on the destination page. For example, if Apture takes you to someone's Twitter feed (in a pop-up), it might discover from that feed that the Twitter account holder is in San Francisco and thusly includes a link in the pop up that allows the end-user to pop-up a map of San Francisco.

As can be seen in the ReviewCam, you can just keep digging deeper and deeper into the Web with a new pop-up being generated with each click. A simple double-click on the original Web page clears all pop-ups instantaneously.

Quite frankly, the service is so innovating that it has wondering just how we might be able to take best advantage of it here at TechWeb and InformationWeek.

One slight down-side to the service is that you don't have any "design" control over the pop-ups (you can hear me ask Harris about this in the video). Then again, my guess is that everything has a price and if you wanted some more control over the design of the pop-ups that Apture would be willing to consider something a bit more custom. I can't imagine big media sites not wanted to have that capability once they discover the power of Apture.

Apture is free to all independent bloggers (cool!). Harris was a bit coy on general pricing for enterprises (eg: media companies) -- but that is in fact where Apture makes it money.

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