Sunday, November 9, 2008

Middle Spot - Visualize and Share Search Results

Middle Spot is a new service that combines a visual search engine with a social bookmarking utility. The search engine aspect of Middle Spot displays your search results as a series of screen shots of webpages that you can zoom in on and pan across while the links are listed in the left margin of the page. (See the screen shot below from my search for "Free Technology for Teachers.") The screen shot aspect of Middle Spot is similar to that of Viewzi. You can read my review of Viewzi here.

The social bookmarking aspect of Middle Spot allows users to save the content they find to a "work pad." A user's work pad is an online notebook to which they can save websites and annotations. Within a work pad users can create categories for the content they find and create. Work pads can be shared with other users. Middle Spot also offers a Firefox extension to make searching and bookmarking an integrated part of the search experience. The slide show embedded below gives a brief overview of the work pad utility.

Using Workpads
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: visual web)

Applications for Education
Middle Spot's sharing capabilities could make it a good utility for students that are working on a collaborative research project. Middle Spot's visual preview of search results could save some students time as they search the Internet for content. The previews could save time because users can look at a page without having to open a new browser window.