Collect, Manage, and utilize the knowledge you’ve acquired with ease and grace.

Originally posted on

What we really intend to make for you with Blog Navigator is to create a robust and efficient way to manage all your on-line knowledge. You know how hard it is to actually find something useful on the Internet at times, right? That’s where our “Web Search Folders” come to help. You could already organize your knowledge into baskets, but we’ve decided that it’s not enough. While baskets were a great way of organizing your findings and keeping them for later reference, there were a couple of deficiencies of baskets.

To address that we’ve added two things to 1.2 version of Blog Navigator:

  • you can easily put one basket into one another to make your knowledge more hierarchically organized, just like you can organize your Internet Explorer favorites.
  • you can manage Internet Explorer favorites within Blog Navigator! (Firefox users, consult the final paragraph to learn how to import your bookmarks into Blog Navigator).

Basket enhancements

The former is a pretty straightforward enhancement of the old mechanism (from the user standpoint of view at least). Previously baskets were just leaves in the Blog Navigator tree and could not be embedded within each other. While that’s OK for a simple storage of a few links once a while, that’s definitely not enough for a knowledge management tool. Right now you can manage them like you would with your favorites in Internet Explorer – you can organize them hierarchically and syndicate into groups.

As baskets now behave almost like regular grouping folders there came a dilemma about how to show the baskets being higher in the hierarchy and containing some other baskets and perhaps even some channels or any other folders. While baskets upper in the hierarchy can also contain items like URLs and articles you’ve put in them from any source (channels, blogs, address bar, web search folder) there would be a problem of how to differentiate an item that was in the basket from items that are in the folders embedded in the basket. the solution I’ve decided upon is to NOT show the items from the embedded elements in the basket’s article list. However grouping  folders traditionally show all items in the folders that are children to them, so we’ve used that functionality to allow you to show them all together.

If you put such basket (containing other folders under it in a group, the group will show all elements of the basket as well as its children. Let me show you a sample:

Now if you enter the “Interesting Articles” group you will notice that it will show all items gathered in “Programming”, “Graphics” and “Customization” baskets. That’s how it used to be.

How about a basket in a basket, like “The sites I visit”?. If you enter this basket you will notice that it will only show elements that are directly in it and none of those in the “Every Day” and “Every Week” baskets. Now so far so good, but what about the “My Baskets” group? The cool part is that it will actually show the items in the “Every Day” and “Every Week” basket.

The conclusion, while baskets do not show any items not directly placed in them, they act as a proxy for the folders contained in them, so any group that you will put them in will show all their direct elements and all their children elements!

Internet Explorer Favorites

Internet Explorer favorites are something probably everyone is get used to by now, but they are a rather inefficient way of managing your knowledge and they get pretty messy for a lot of users pretty soon. They can however become an very powerful tool when combined with all the other functionality of Blog Navigator. Let’s dwell upon that for a while… So far Blog Navigator was an isolated island on your system, not tied to any knowledge repository you could have harvested before. If you opened it fresh, you would have to collect it all again. But this new feature changes it all in one sweep.

There is now a new root in the tree that lists all your “Internet Explorer – Favorites”. And it makes your Internet Explorer favorites a first class citizens. They come with all the features and you would expect of any other folder in Blog Navigator. Favorites folders behave like baskets described above and you can think of them as such, the only difference is how they are stored in the system. They can be KeepSafed, marked as important, preloaded, mailed in batches, and even sorted by date of creation. You can move them around, rename them and rename the folders that contain them. And all of this is reflected in Internet Explorer instantaneously! You can turn the favorites folders into baskets, and the very favorites into basket items or even have the whole hierarchy of them converted into baskets or back again into favorites with simply dragging and dropping them. The favorites root however always stays there, this is because you cannot change in Internet Explorer where and how they are stored.

Let me go deeper into that functionality and how certain actions work:

  • dragging an article or the icon from the browser address bar, or a basket element into a favorites folder creates a favorite. This works is implemented as a copy functionality, meaning the original item is not deleted while it is added to a favorite folder.
  • dragging a basket or a channel or any other Blog Navigator folder into a favorites folder creates a new favorites folder in it with all the articles from the original folder becoming IE favorites. This also creates a copy and does not affect the original elements.
  • dragging whole branches of BN elements into favorites turns them into an appropriate matching favorites folder structure.
  • dragging any favorites folder out of the favorites hierarchy and into the BN folder structure creates an appropriate matching structure of baskets. This creates a copy of them and does not affect the original IE favorites structure.
  • you can also drag single favorites into baskets. This makes a copy of them as the baskets articles.
  • dragging one IE favorites folder to another IE favorites folder moves it to the new parent. The favorites hierarchy is reorganized to reflect the change in Internet Explorer too. The folder is moved with all its elements and child folders.
  • you can rename favorites with the “Rename” option is in the context menu available when you right click on the favorite.
  • rename favorites folder like you would rename any other BN folder.

Now if you use or, like me, used to use Firefox or any other Mozilla based browser, you can still import your favorites to Blog Navigator. There is a functionality in Internet Explorer, described here, allowing you to import the bookmarks into IE favorites. To do that simply select the “Import and Export” option from the “File” menu and proceed with the “Import Favorites” feature of the wizard that will appear upon selecting it. This will import your bookmarks as IE favorites which will then be accepted by Blog Navigator. This of course will not synchronize your bookmarks automatically with your Firefox bookmarks, but at the very least will allow you to import the articles you’ve harvested in the Internet into the Blog Navigator.

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This entry (Permalink) was posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2005 at 4:23 am and is filed under Blog Navigator, Blogging, Web applications. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response , or trackback from your own site.