Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, July 27, 2000

Flyswat- Contextual-search browser add-on

= interesting, promising
General reference, and e-commerce

Flyswat is a prompt little tool, standing by ready to turn any word on your screen into a link related to whatever web page you are examining. When used in Internet Explorer it adds a small toolbar to the IE toolbar and underlines key words in a greenish yellow. In all other applications, Flyswat is invisible until you press the ALT key and click on a word.

Flyswat taps into an ever growing list of content partners which can make for very fast and relevant searches, but limits in some way your ability to encounter new sources of info. It is true however, that while Flyswat taps some of the major directories and SE (search engines), such as Yahoo, AltaVista, AskJeeves, and other major SE, due to its technological scheme and a large set of filtering tools, Flyswat does not provide you with the breadth of results a traditional SE would.

I activated Flyswat when I was viewing the United States Defense Department web page, and suddenly various words became underlined. When I clicked on the word "Japan" in an article about the recent protests against the United States, a small box came up on my screen. The box offered various categories: country facts, guides, hotels, maps, related books, and weather.

The book option, which connected me to, was very useful, as well as the weather category. I believe in another context, all of these categories would be useful and appropriate.



Flyswat has the same problem as Nano in that it has a hard time overcoming its limited search capacity as an American based search tool. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, searches are best if they are kept to broader topics.

The advantage to Flyswat is that you have a very swift tool occupying very little screen real estate, which can at any moment bring up complementary web resources, definitions, books, and shopping info on or about any topic. So if you are searching for company information, or major categories of info, especially on commercial products and popular issues, you benefit greatly from using Flyswat.

The program is quite small, less than 1MB in size, and works with all browsers. It is only PC compatible.

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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, July 27 2000, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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