Walking the talk with goozr

It would be tempting, as an observer of the online world, to just report what I see. Tragically, I cannot resist ‘messing around’. Recently it’s been Yahoo! Pipes and Teqlo. This morning I turned my attention back to Grazr. Since my last foray, the company has announced scripting, JavaScripting, hosting and funding. And I’ve just been too busy to take a close look at any of this stuff.

This morning I thought I’d better start catching up. I embedded a simple (really!) script into the Grazr XML/OPML viewer. It gives access to Google blog search and displays the results in a rather fetching black Grazr three-pane panel. You can change the colour scheme easily enough.

I called the end result goozr. My Scottish pal, Euan Semple, liked it because it was close to boozr.

Give it a try. Type "Euan Semple" into the search box. Or anything you like really:

It took minutes to do – I looked at someone else’s search and tweaked it to suit. It probably took ten minutes to set up, then the usual fiddling while I fine-tuned it and embedded it in the goozr page I mentioned above. I’ve hosted it on the tebbo server. This self-hosting was always a bit of an issue with Grazr: few people have access to their own, or a managed, server. And sticking it into the blogging platform (as I did with the Grazrs in the left sidebar) is not particularly easy. But Grazr now offers free hosting of feeds and OPML outlines. Problem solved.

I suspect that getting to grips with JavaScript is a step too far for many of us but, for those who are interested, it suggests that Grazr could end up being a most powerful information discovery and presentation portal.

All you will need is access to a browser, a connection to the internet and a willingness to dabble.

If you do dabble, I’d love to hear how you get on.

PS Looking at it from the browser, I see that it could definitely be better. So, complaints and constructive suggestions are welcome too.

PPS Seconds after posting the above a friend, David Terrar, landed on the blog because he wanted to include Grazr in his own blog and he knew that I’d done this. He knew nothing of today’s renewed interest, unless he’d somehow picked up my thoughtwaves.

Anyway we went from zero to a Grazr-hosted OPML file in just a few minutes. He exported the OPML from BlogLines, registered with Grazr, uploaded the file and filled in a form. Bingo! Grazr showed him what it would look like and offered him code that he could drop straight into WordPress.

His comment: "What a brilliant tool."

5 thoughts on “Walking the talk with goozr

  1. Hi Tony. Good to hear from you. Went to your workspace and was a bit mystified – kept clicking on the menu items at the top of the screen and wondered why nothing happened.
    I expressed my bafflement to David Terrar and he suggested I click on the ‘tools’ tab and all would become clear.
    And he was right.
    Thank you for a very interesting resource.

  2. Hi
    Usability in Stringle (such is the name of the environment: http://ouseful.open.ac.uk/stringle) is still lacking but improvements are planned when I get a chance!
    As well as the GrazrStudio, you can see other stringle configurations at http://ouseful.open.ac.uk/stringle/stringleProfileSelect.php
    Most of them are placeholders at the moment, though…
    The closest thing to a userguide that exists so far is here: http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2007/02/stringle_almost.html

  3. FYI, I have tweaked the Stringle usability issue referred to above, in Firefox at least, the correct tab should grab the focus when you click on a link; I don’t have access to any other browsers to know whether the fix is cross-browser compatible…

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