Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, May 25, 2001

Integrate favorite applications and services online

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Create customised toolkits and "meta-applications" on any topic.
= breakthrough tool

Octopus is a powerful new breed of online service, offering the ability to create so-called "meta- applications".

In layman terms, these "meta-applications" are nothing else but special webpages, viewable through a special plug-in, which can integrate and combine many types of online components: results of search results, snippets of web page sections that are live online, images, list of links and more.

How does it work? Once registered at the site, by clicking on the "Sign In" button on the main toolbar you can immediately start creating your own Octopus-Views.

You select first a "View" template among 8: Blank View, News, Job Search, Stocks, Personal, Office Reference, Start my day.

Then you start customizing your own "View". You are provided with simple menu commands and interface elements that allow you to add any type of content to this "very dynamic" page by combining not only any text, images or links you may want to provide, but also BY INTEGRATING IN THE SAME PAGE online services and applications in a seamless way. You have to see it to understand it.

For example: I can create a basic page about Marketing of Training which is made up of: *basic information I provide *a list of links I provide *the live and updated results of one or more search engines on any keyword I determine *live webpage sections drawn from actual online sites *live selection of images on any topic or keyword I select.

The integrated webpage can also include several other useful online services such as: several types of dictionary/Thesaurus, company and individual search services, and a plethora of other general management, office and travel and transportation support services.

Once the page is complete you can save it with a name and a description and you can publish it in the Views Directory for the public to access.

Your published view can be also sent by email to contacts and friends as a recommended site to see.

With Octopus Personal Edition, you can specifically:

1) Access multiple Web sources in a single View

2) Edit any View or create your own "View" with our easy drag and drop interface

3) Add new Web sources to any View with the Octopus Clipper

4) Browse or search the Directory for Views that can help you with your business

5) E-mail your View to share with friends or colleagues

6) Publish your View to the Directory to share with other Octopus users

7) Customise the information your way

8) Edit and create your own Views with the Octopus Content Catalog, a collection of more than 500 Web sources for everything from news to travel, finance to sports.

You can also add new content sources from any Web site using the Octopus Clipper.

This service is completely free of cost to individual users. You can create and publish your own Octopus-powered views on just about any topic you wish.

I regret that the available categories in the Views Directory are very limited at the moment, and do not consequently allow for good categorization of relevant content and meta-applications created by users.

For the good resource this is, I find it a too well kept secret.

The negative points of this future-looking service is that it does require you to have Internet Explorer on a Windows machine. It will NOT work on Macs and on other systems.

In my experience using the service can be unrewarding on very slow connections since "meta-applications" by definition are multiple online services aggregated together. A good connection above 28.8 is therefore a must for anybody wanting to get the best of this service.

Windows 95 users need to have Microsoft Virtual Machine installed. Though this is a free download at: lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22 Microsoft+Virtual+Machine%22+msjavx86.exe, it is a hefty 5MB download.

The "guided" tour offered on the site does not do a good service in clearly showing and explaining HOW powerful this service really is. I strongly suggest you go and try it personally if you have any interest in this, or you can go and look at my published View on finding free image resources online. Read on to find out how to access it.

From a collaboration standpoint this tool is also interesting as it allows others to endlessly pick up and refine on other people Views.

If you have a good connection (Internet wise) I strongly suggest you give it a try.

I have developed a small "meta-application" called Digital Media Manager while testing this service, and you can access the fruit of my work at: EC45BAA7ABDA4654AB638E1B21E 88E04

Once you have installed the small plug-in, which requires only a few seconds download, you will have at your disposal a nice little one-stop toolkit to search royalty-free images, clip art and photos on the web.

Access Octopus fantastic capabilities at:

View a directory of ready-made meta-applications created with Octopus at: anon988720285660&cat=root

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posted by Robin Good on Friday, May 25 2001, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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