An acquaintance asked me to take a look at an application called Webstractor by SoftChaos. He told me that it was a way to capture webpages for research, and then to export the results into word. Here is the Webstractor product tour.
- The Radar feature seem like a useful one that other similar services don't offer. Though, services that notify you of changes in a specific website already exist, and some of them are free ( see changenotes).
- Webstractor browser preview along the right hand side is very nice, and allows you to move through your captured web pages rather quickly
- The editing features are usually not included in apps that capture website
- It is nice that Webstractor captures long pages, but that can be done with other apps too
- The product shows up pretty high in google searches, there are not many easily found alternatives
- The html interpretation in the editor mode is not precise
- It does not export to microsoft word, just to .pdf, which doesn't offer the differentiation that word would have.
- Is capturing every page you visit useful for research? it seems like it would be more useful from a search perspective. the model is to just bookmark them from yo
- Technical people will use a web-based solution, and if this is going to be a solution for less technical people it needs to be much much easier to use
- Print and share doesn't count as collaboration these days. Exporting to pdf is something these others don't do, but its pretty easy to do by just printing to pdf in your browser.
- the actual applications of the software are unclear, what market? what people, what would they actually do with the software?
- needs browser plugins for Firefox
- needs to be completely web-based
- needs collaboration features so multiple people can work on a project
- needs sharing features so people can share their work after they are done (aka publish to a private website)
Another big problem with webstractor is that there are many convenient alternatives.
Google Notes http://www.google.com/notebook/
Other Reviews of Webstractor
Overall I think webstractor definitely tries to solve a valid problem, but does so in a clumsy way. The jury is out on desktop apps, and the main survivor here is your web browser. The application has to be web based, and currently there are some good alternatives. Hopefully I will follow up with some review of these alternatives shortly.