SmartLinking

I link to music all the time on this blog. But what music service do I link to? Amazon mostly because its the most ubiquitous. Most everyone knows how to use Amazon. But I also am a huge fan of last.fm, hypemachine, rhapsody, pandora, and many more music services. Maybe one of those is your favorite. Maybe you’d prefer I link to them instead.

Enter SmartLinks.

SmartLinks bring semantic understanding to the most basic element of the web – the link. It’s way easier to understand a smart link by seeing it than talking about it. Some of you might have noticed this link yesterday on my MP3 of the Day post.

Because of the Times – Kings Of Leon

See that little blue icon at the end of the link. Click on it. You’ll get a window that explodes the link. The cool thing is I didn’t have to populate that window. SmartLinks are automatically populated using semantic understanding of the original link.

Here’s another one:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – I Told Brad Feld to buy this book yesterday

This works for more than music and books. Let’s try a link to a blog.

Brad Feld’s photo from our office yesterday

It’s important to note that the standard link doesn’t change with SmartLinking. That link to Brad’s blog still goes to Brad’s blog. All the smarts are in the little blue icon. If you don’t like SmartLinks all you have to do is ignore the little blue things and nothing changes for you. But if you’d like to see some other options for the link, the little blue icon is for you.

You can embed SmartLinks in your blog or social networking profile two ways. The first and easiest way is to click on the tab in the SmartLink window that says "copy this link". SmartLinks are viral. If you find one you like, you can copy it directly into your blog.

The second way is to install a Firefox extenstion called BlueOrganizer (Denim Build) from our portfolio company AdaptiveBlue. There’s more about SmartLinks and BlueOrganizer on their blog.

Two more things you should know about SmartLinks. They contain affiliate codes. If you have affiliate codes of your own, you can simply and easily replace the codes with your own right in the BlueOrganizer extension. Then all the SmartLinks you create will have your codes in them.

The second thing about SmartLinks is that this is just the first step in a much bigger vision. Imagine if SmartLinks could be even smarter? What if they knew something about you? AdaptiveBlue’s mantra is to personalize the web for you using semantics and attention. There are some smart people working on this problem at AdaptiveBlue and I am really excited to see them working on making the link smarter.