In the crowded space of social bookmarking, Adaptive Blue’s BlueOrganizer is one of the most innovative services online. That innovation is continuing with today’s release of version 3.0 of the product. BlueOrganizer is a Firefox plug-in for social bookmarking/tagging that emphasizes use of standardized and automatically determined terms of categorization instead of only the terms that a user thinks of to categorize a web page. It’s a smart semantic based tool that syncs with Del.icio.us, offers dazzling contextual search and is already bringing in revenue.
The newest version of the product introduces the Blue Menu, a contextual menu of search and tagging options that appears on right-click and is determined on the fly by a semantic analysis of the page you are on.
In other words, if I’m on a web page about a movie I can right click and the Blue Menu will offer to let me search for that movie’s title, for its stars and director and for movies in the same genre in movie related databases. It will let me compare prices for the movie in shopping search engines and with one click I can send that movie to my Netflix queue.
If I’m on a page about a wine and right click, the Blue Menu will offer to let me search for wines by winery, type of wine, geographic location and ingredients in other sites about wine. A music item can be launched in Pandora.
Blue Organizer recognizes items from a list of other verticals too including travel, toys, anime, software, hardware, restaurants, music, images and video. It’s an impressive tool. Each vertical has some default search options, but users can easily select other ones or make requests for still other databases to be included. In future versions of the software there will be a wizard that will let users easily add new search options themselves.
Adaptive Blue has already programmed against hundreds of popular sites in these verticals, but the tool is also quite good at determining context of new sites. With reasonable accuracy, for example, I can highlight the title of a movie in a news story on a news site about that movie and the Blue Menu will recognize it as a movie. It will also let me search for other movies the director has directed or the stars have starred in even if those names are not listed in the news article. Very impressive when it works and it does work fairly often. (See screen shot above, for example.)
In addition to all these exciting search options there’s also bookmarking options. Standard tags are recommended based on semantic analysis of the text but tag choices are ultimately up to users. Pages are automatically bookmarked after you visit them 3 times, but that number can be changed or deselected entirely. In future versions subscription to topics will be offered as well and will be organized in a similar semantic fashion. There’s quite a bit more to the product, but the contextual search menu on right click is the most important new feature.
Today is the new product’s first day in the wild and there are any number of kinks that need to be worked out. Adaptive Blue is a startup with a lot of momentum though. It was recently named one of the Firefox recommended add-ons list when Firefox 2.0 was released and has had more than 130k downloads. Unlike many social bookmarking services – it’s already generating revenue from companies that are paying to have themselves included in the default options of the contextual search and related parts of Blue Organizer. Purchases of bookmarked items through Blue Organizer go through affiliate links as well.
I’ll have to give it some more use to see just how useful and capable this new version of Blue Organizer is, but I’m guessing that many people are going to find if very useful. There is an option to sync your bookmarks in Blue Organizer with your Del.icio.us and Flickr accounts, which is great because you can try it out for awhile without risking the loss of what you bookmark if you decide you want to go back to Del.icio.us.
One of the best things about it is that there is so much than can be done with this tool, and yet using it is remarkably simple. There is a good degree of customization and advanced use that’s possible, but relatively thoughtless use will still provide substantial value to users. Fun for early adopters and mainstream users. That’s one important mark of a good product.