“Headup is a browser add-on that ties together content from popular web services, bringing you discoveries from all over the net”, says the homepage description of the new Semantinet product, the Headup Firefox addon.

I was one of the first gick early adaptors of this addon, a few days ago, late at night, and it still runs on my fox, getting already 2 or 3 update notifications, currently running version 0.9.7.3722.

The story is pretty simple, you install this addon and sign yourself in in the settings popup (that is still not 100% stable) to your social utilities on the web (Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, Friendfeed, Twitter and a few more) and you start getting these little pluses near every name or a link, opening a small popup that let’s you see what and where this person is doing: videos, friends, photos, bookmarks, all that.

Even though this product works, it still has a lot of UX problems I found during first contact with it. With all the version updates, I’m sure they fixed a lot of things. Now, after days, I find myself that the addon stops working from time to time (i.e not connected), but more than that I find myself thinking about all the uses this technology might be good to (So Many!). And this is the main reason for this addon- it shows the strengths and abilities of the Semantinet engine. no doubt the addon is a proof of concept.

Few more points
1- It wouldn’t work if you don’t sign in to your (popular) social utilities, and the more social utilities you sign into, the more info you’ll get on the people and other links you click on.
2- Semantinet and Headup do not save your personal information anywhere else but on your hard drive. A- it’s good for the people who’re affraid for their privacy. B- I think they should encrypt this data for any chance that might show up.
3- If this engine doesnt know anything if I’m not signed in, it means the amount of knowledge available to me is limited. I mean, what if i’m a kid or an old guy who is not registered to all these web 2.0 utilities? Using this tool only for the social web is missing the true potential of it, it shouldn’t be a “social web only” tool, it should be an “all web” tool, going to fetch data from NYTimes, From Britanica, MTV, National Geographic and more “regular sites.
4- The idea that “the more connected you uare the more data you get from us” is, i’m sorry to say, not good enough, why? because it means you have to be an uber gick to enjoy the huge world of knowledge Headup and Semantinet offers you.
5- In my opinion, this technology should work better with bigger websites than with your fox. It should be integrated inside them rather than trusting your personal connectivity to the social web.

conclusion
Headup is one of the first web 3.0 applications available in the market today, showing us where we’re going to be in just a few years in terms of the data really available to us on the web, maybe no longer seeking for knowledge but knowledge that comes to us, I believe big websites should integrate this technology, as it is enriching the value and experience of user across the web.

read more about Headup:
SearchEngineLand: Headup: A True Semantic Web Search Agent
Cnet: Headup finds new connections on Web pages
Mashable: SemantiNet Launches Power-Packed Headup Firefox Add-On (Invites)
ReadWriteWeb: Headup: Smarter Connections Across Your Social Networks (400 Invites)

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