Customized Web views

When I go to today’s date on Wikipedia, I see that a lot of famous people have birthdays today. I don’t recognize all of the names.

But I’ll bet that in many cases, I would recognize the faces. And that might make it more likely that I would click on that person to learn more about them.

The way things are now, in order to see the person’s face, I can do one of two things: Either I hover my mouse over their name for a bit (which may or may not show me their face) or I click to go to their actual Wikipedia entry.

In a more fully realized version of the Web, there should be a way for me, as an ordinary user, to specify custom visual filters for the page I am viewing. I might want to specify, for example, that every place a person’s name appears as a link, I want my browser to go to that page behind the scenes, fetch the first image of a person it finds, and paste it onto the page I am looking at.

You could do this now, but you would need serious programming chops. And that is not ideal.

Would it be difficult to create an easy way for non-programmers to have that kind of capability? I hope not, and I think it would be a cool thing for somebody to work on.

3 Responses to “Customized Web views”

  1. Dan Nielsen says:

    It’s a cool idea, esp. if you could just drag elements from one page to another, and the browser would determine the associations, while the user refines the graphical layout and helps the browser understand exactly which data to fetch by selecting metadata elements in the photo, for instance. Of course there might be liabilities in allowing exposure and fetching of data that way, but security shouldn’t be insurmountable.
    One hangup is that we’d have to be logged into our browser’s account in order to access settings. Probably a good prototype case would be Markdown-based web spaces that are easy to configure, such as Wikis, as you mention. I’m imagining, though, a user going to the bathroom, and their co-workers reconfiguring their browser to Rick-roll them at inconvenient times.

  2. admin says:

    Interesting!

    In fact there is a related article on this, about Customizing your web view.

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