Evaluating Context Organiser

Some time ago I posted on a tool called Context Organizer. I told you I would evaluate the tool and share my experiences with you. A commenter rightly reminded me to do that. So here goes!
Actually I evaluated it a long time ago and eventually stopped doing that and even de-installed the tool. I simply had too much issues with the software and plugins. I'll bet there have been a bunch of updates. My evaluation is about the version they had around November-December 2007.

Interestingly, the company selling Context Organizer (and other products) found me via LinkedIn. They said they were looking for people with a background in language technology and knowledge management. That was the first time a company approached me via LinkedIn, so I found that quite exciting.

After downloading 'Context Organizer' and playing around with it for some time, I emailed them these comments:

"Well, I took a look at Context Organizer this evening! In the past I've looked at auto summarizers like Pertinence and Copernic. (...)

I think your approach is better and more complete that the above-mentioned [tools]. What I really like is your strategy to integrate into the tools people use daily. If you don't take this approach you will not be successful, I find.

I worked with Context Organizer for the web. It installed nicely. I'm a Firefox user. The addon did not install for some reason. That's too bad, because I was really wanting to try it.
So I carried on with the client. Here are some of my findings:

1. Long processing time when query is typed in for some webpages. The user can see that it's processing, but it could be clearer what is processing. 'Processing search results or webpages'?
2. The client terminated all of a sudden several times: 'access violation...'
3. The interface is pretty overloaded. I don't find that you have a good overview. (Your website is a good example of a transparant page with good overview. Like it!)
4. The summarization could do more. It basically chops into sentences and I can do summarization myself by selecting relevant sentences. This is useful, but I want more. Propose a summary to me! The summarizer has a hard time processing boxes of information (as wikipedia has e.g.). Skip them?! Referals like 'he' are sometimes misinterpreted.
The more text a page has the better the summarizer gets.
5. Why not use a step by step approach, so users can clearly see where to start?
6. Add easy sharing? You can mail the summary to someone. But it would be nice to be able to send the summary and the full version of the webpage (with highlights of the sentences in the summary in the full webpage?). The receiver can decide for himself/herself which one to read. Or is triggered by the summary to read the full version.
7. I don't understand why a new client opens when I enter a query. I expect the search results to open in the same window.
8. Context organizer is a client app, change it to a webapp?
9. Searched for 'opensocial', no results?!
10. Only summarizes first three search results. When I first looked at this I didn't understand this. Looks like bug or limitation of evaluation version. After looking more closely I found out this is a setting that can be change. (By the way in the 'help' it says 'summarize next 5 checked' and in working version it's 'next 3 checked'.)
11. Some pages are not or cannot be summarized, why is unclear. Give some indication to user?
12. Autosummarization isn't perfect. Why not (also) offer interactive summarization? This would work like social search and social bookmarking: Give summary of webpage, ask user to click sentences that best summarize the page and submit that to a central database for all to use.
Relating to this: it would be really nice to give these summaries integrated in Google search or in for instance delicious bookmarks. Then you could really quickly decide to click the link or not.
I like you product name. Context is very important in daily knowledge work and most often overlooked by tool vendors. Context Organizer give knowledge workers the context they need!"

After this we emailed several times, solving some of the issues, but not all of them (e.g. the Firefox add-on problem). Our conversations dried up, eventually. I also took a look at BlinkInfo. In the end I uninstalled Context Organizer; I don't use it anymore.


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