A year and half or so ago we built this little prototype called Social Intellisense. The core idea was to make information as readily available as possible during authoring. We couldn’t think of anything more at-the-ready than literally in-the-flow-of-typing access to information, so we borrowed the intellisense interface concept and hooked it up to some web services.
The result is that you can drop a flickr photo into an email, insert a stock quote into a document, etc., without stopping typing. This is a little bit like Mozilla’s Ubiquity, minus the natural language bits and focused on an information access scenario. To round it out, we added generic storage so you could push content into shared information spaces. We have a short paper on this at ICWSM, so I’ll be showing it there in May, but I threw together a screencast I figured I’d post.
Oh, and as I say in the video, the time is right for something along these lines: info-snippets are readily available and often organized courtesy of tagging and other socially organized information systems. Social Intellisense is one way of doing it. What I don’t say in the video is that we spent several months working with Live Labs to build this into a browser plugin beta. Unfortunately, most of Live Labs got re-org’d, leaving our project hanging. Bummer, but I still like the idea.
[Note, the text in the video is tiny, but full screen viewing makes it readable.]