Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Thoughts on Filangy

For about two weeks now I’ve been using Filangy. I’ve been thinking about writing about it for a while, but I wasn’t quite sure how. Problem is that I can’t really describe it well. It’s kind of like a desktop search tool for your browser. It caches all the pages you look at and makes them searchable. It also allows you to add your own bookmarks and import RSS feeds and del.icio.us bookmarks. In the FAQ, it’s explained like this:

Filangy is an intelligent search tool integrated with a search engine to make searching productive. We offer features that allow users to personalize their search experience. Two of the features that we have launched in our beta products are WebMarks and WebCache. Over the coming months we will be integrating numerous other helpful features. To get more information about our products and services please see the keep me posted section.

Anyhow, today I got an email from them thanking me for using it (it’s still in beta) and telling me they had some exciting features coming up. The end of the email asked people to submit any thoughts they had. Of course, when I get an invitation like that I can’t refuse, so I mentioned the one big thing I had thought of: a web highlighter. You see, the Filangy toolbar already has this highlighter icon, but it only highlights terms on a page you’re looking at. I want something that allows me to highlight and save specific words from a page.

About five minutes after sending my email I got a response . . . from a real person. Imagine that! She agreed that would be a great feature and we emailed back and forth a few times. In an email she mentioned that I should blog that I had spoken to a real person (which I am right now, I guess). In response to that email I wrote her this (keep in mind I’m still kind of reeling from today’s big entry):

You know, to be completely honest I’ve been thinking about writing
about Filangy on my blog for a while but I’m having trouble defining
just what it is. I know that it caches everything I look at (right?)
and allows me to bookmark things and then stores it all in a
web-accessible database. But what really makes it different than other
tools out there? Essentially you’re creating your individual search
engine, right? It’s kind of like an online version of Google Desktop.
But why doesn’t it have some of the tools that make sites like
del.icio.us and Flickr so powerful, specifically tags? I love the idea
of Filangy, but I feel as though del.icio.us is a superior system for
bookmarking things at the moment. It allows me to annotate my
bookmarks (with the “summary” section) and then tag it appropriately.
While the highlighter tool would be a huge advantage, there’s still
something missing in my mind (although I’m not sure what).

I actually just wrote about brain function and information
architecture and I think there might be pieces of it for you guys to
think about: https://www.noahbrier.com/archives/2005/03/i_used_to_think_1.html

Essentially I want software that not only complements my brain, but
gives me a better understanding of how it functions. I think this is
what separates regular software from the revolutionary stuff.

Can you guys help?

Thanks a bunch and sorry for burdening you with all my thoughts,


PS – This will be going on my blog

About five minutes later I got another response telling me she had forwarded my email on to the CEO and thanking me for sharing my thoughts. “And thanks for taking the time to send us your thought. It’s appreciated and welcomed,” was exactly what she wrote.

You know what? When a company has customer service like Filangy, it makes me believe they’ll be revolutionary. They’ve earned a customer.

March 17, 2005