I’d like to say a few words about True Thinker. This was one of those things that sounded quite cool around 18 months ago and I signed up, had a play and decided that it just wasn’t a very pleasurable experience to use, and was trying to make things harder than they needed to be.
But I am jumping ahead of myself
“TrueThinker, a brand-new web-based tool to help you more easily and quickly grow your knowledge of topics in which youâ€™re interested. One of the key ways it does this is by learning to organize your saved website links based on what data you save and how you organize it’
* Throw away your bookmark file (after you easily import it into TrueThinker). Access TrueThinker (and your links) from any computer, anywhere in the world.
* Save search results into your TrueThinker Knowledge Bank categories and your TrueThinker Communities with only one click
* Continue to use the search engine youâ€™re comfortable with, but let TrueThinker make sense of your search results by organizing them and making them useful to you
* Start training the AutoGnomeTM within TrueThinker to organize your Internet information. Thatâ€™s Artificial Intelligence like none other!
* Join TrueThinker Communities. Collaborate with, share information with, and learn from people interested in the same things you are.
Now, the technology might be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don’t know, because I have not got far enough and added enough to it to find out.
Explaining why is actually as simple as commenting that 18 months down the line, and with the product now out of beta – and being charged for! ($24.95 per year) – they still do not seem to have heard of social bookmarking sites. The options for importing bookmarks are to import your IE or Firefox ones. I’m sure the five I have there will get me off to a great start. Where is the import delicious, Furl, Diigo etc??
They also want you to use the site as your personal homepage. They have some modules you can add. There is one for the weather. With this I can find out what the weather is like all over America. There is a Yellow Pages search, where I can find businesses all over America too. Guess what? I don’t live in America. It is not just that, but the modules seem to indicate that the people at True Thinker have never seen iGoogle, Pageflakes, or Netvibes.
Now, I am sure the folks at True Thinker would say that it is the semantic web/search aspect that are the most important things. Fine. If that’s the case get rid of the rest of the crap. It really is the kind of stuff that Noah would have turned his nose up at working on Ark 2.0 – although maybe he’d have better look with the toolbar, and the feedback survey, where if you click on the link it says:
“This survey is currently closed. Please contact the author of this survey for further assistance”.
My advice, if your tech actually works licence it out and let others add it to their offerings, or if you want to really go with the portal/start page thing – open it up and get some decent widgets, and try and remember that America is not the world.