Welcome to The Weekly Web 2.0, a featurette I'm posting each week here on Govtech.com. I'm scouring the Web to bring you two interesting 2.0 tools that I hope you'll find worth checking out. Some finds may serve you professionally while others may be better for personal business. Hopefully a few will do both. This week I explore MeGlobe and FilterMyRSS.
Many people, me included, tend to look at the Information Age in terms of how well current developments stack up against the technology of Star Trek. Mobile phones and Bluetooth devices are our versions of the Trekkie communicator. High-def video games are our holodeck. And now, MeGlobe may be our answer to the universal translator.
MeGlobe is an instant-messaging client that connects people around the globe regardless of the language they speak and write. The free-to-use tool allows someone in Moscow to instant-message a friend in São Paulo, Brazil, without either person knowing the other's language. MeGlobe accomplishes this by way of real-time translation.
Developers of MeGlobe readily admit their application is far from perfect. But they claim it's designed to improve as more users who speak more languages take advantage of the service. Users who find that MeGlobe has mistranslated a message can edit MeGlobe to reflect the correct translation. This means MeGlobe, like Wikipedia, relies to a degree on the users' best intentions. Though this practice seems questionable, Wikipedia's ever-growing community has helped it become a quite reliable source of accurate information. This is MeGlobe's aim as well. Let's just see how long it takes to for MeGlobe to learn how to translate to Klingon.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. In the Web 2.0 world, that old axiom is proved true time and again. E-mail was supposed to make communication simple and efficient, yet we're all inundated with more messages than we can handle. Facebook was meant to help us keep in touch with distant friends, and now we have so many friends we don't have time to keep in touch with those we really care about. And then there are Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. RSS was supposed to make it easier to get news you care about. But with almost every Web site now offering an RSS feed, it's become just as cumbersome to navigate your feeds as it is the sites themselves.
That's where FilterMyRSS comes in. It's a simple service that filters the RSS feeds to which you've subscribed and provides only the information you deem relevant.
RSS feeds can be filtered based on title, description or category. The tool is free to use and requires no sign-up or registration. A user simply enters the RSS URL and then sets the conditions for filtering. Optimized for the Firefox Web browser, FilterMyRSS also works on Internet Explorer if you are still using that.
So if you have more RSS feeds than you know what to do with, give FilterMyRSS a try. I just wonder how long it will be until someone develops a filter for FilterMyRSS.