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Snap Shots got snappier :)

Posted on | November 7, 2007 | No Comments

Snap Shots recently turned a year old. I liked their idea, generating very fast ‘on-the-fly’ previews of the page that a link will deliver you in a small, unobtrusive caption box. I’m a slow adopter, I wanted to watch how things went before I added their service to my blog.

Today, I joined Snap Shots and installed the single line of code required in (for now) just the blog area of Echoreply. After a year of growing (and over a million web sites using them), nobody has done much complaining about Snap Shots slowing down page loads, showing garbage, or anything else that most would consider undesirable.

I was really impressed with the degree of control that they allow me to retain over what my visitors are presented with.

Since some of my visitors don’t care for gizmos like Snap Shots, I’ve configured things so that mousing over a hyper link will not trigger the window. If you’d like to see a preview of the page in any given link, simply move your mouse pointer over the little square “tv” looking icon to the right of the link, a bubble will appear that shows you a small preview of the linked page. Moving your mouse away makes it vanish.

If appropriate, some contextual ads might appear below the preview (they are tasteful), these come (for now) from Google. Since the Snap Shots preview bubble only activates on out-bound links, chances are that if you are mousing over one I’m losing your attention anyway. This fits well with my advertising policy, I’m glad that Snap Shots and Google partnered.

I appreciate being able to look at the page that a link will open prior to clicking it, so that I don’t waste time visiting and loading something that I probably don’t want to read to begin with. I think that most people appreciate this ability as well, so I added it.

Snap Shots offers the ability to scan my page and activate previews of certain words that aren’t links.. such as, if I wrote “Albert Einstein” , you would see a preview icon next to “Einstein” that allowed you to read the first few lines of what Wikipedia has to say on him. I think that this is neat, but has the potential to be annoying, so I’m going to see how it looks on other blogs before I decide to add it. Since I often use tech / science terms, this might be helpful.

I hope that Snap Shots considers a ‘blogrush’ style tool that pulled links to blogs that discuss similar topics, that would be a really neat feature. “Blog Rush” networks have just gotten way out of hand, perhaps Snap Shots can introduce something equitable and sane.

I’ve added the code below the footer of the blog, this should ensure that any congestion at Snap Shots does not slow page loads for visitors. Please let me know if you find any problems or object to yet another gizmo on the blog :)

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