The Internet can easily waste a huge chunk of a person’s time. Numerous web links and browser tabs can turn quick research sessions into sleepless nights. Finding information can be easy if you know where to look; however, finding the right information is the tricky part. And information overload is not fun or pleasant.
Distilling all that information into something useful is really the most time-consuming part (and I am ignoring the report writing part). I like to have the ‘more is better’ mind-frame when researching, but that can quickly lead to dozens of open browser tabs or dozens of downloaded PDFs and many more hours spent paring the useful stuff.
Summly aims to help users summarize web information with its FREE iPhone App. I actually think the most intriguing aspect of Summly is the search function as it summarizes a webpage’s information before a user clicks the link to that webpage.
I can see myself using this tool to quickly digest information and bypass link clicking altogether. However, this makes me beholden to Summly’s patent pending technology to display the most important information. It seems credible enough, but the search screen leaves a lot to be desired (although I appreciate the clean and simple design).
The biggest problem is no date display on the search page or the summary page. Users have no idea how current the information is unless they click the link. This seems to defeat the purpose.
Another problem is the app does not seem to be able to summarize web content that is already efficient (e.g., 500 characters or less).
That said, Summly is an interesting application that may alleviate my information consumption. Time will tell if Summly becomes a permanent app on my iPhone. I may have to wait until Summly is integrated into more services like Twitter or Yahoo.
[image via English for Advanced Students | photos via PJ]