Cameron Parkins, May 9th, 2008
Apture is a new tool for bloggers that allows “content creators the power to find and incorporate relevant multimedia items directly into their pages” by adding links and small navigator windows to pages and posts automatically. Better understood in practice (see screenshot below), Apture seems poised to add incredible functionality to web pages that, while incorporating linking, remain relatively static. From The Washington Post (who have integrated Aprture’s technology into two of their blogs, The Fix and Celebrtitology):
When readers hover over an Apture linked term in an article, an elegant floating box emerges with a menu of related material chosen by the site’s editors. This technology gives readers the ability to quickly access relevant, in–depth coverage that caters to individual interests. Clicking an item in the floating box menu opens a small window where readers can view an article, video or photo gallery, while continuing to stay on the original page.
Apture is noteworthy due to its effort to increase interactivity online, but it is equally important to note that it does so through the use of open source tools and CC-licensed media. By default, Apture searches Flickr for images tagged with CC-licenses and Wikipedia content with a GFDL license. When an author links to Wikipedia images, Apture parses over a thousand Wikipedia licenses which it displays in the UI before a link is created. This reliance on free and open media in conjunction with an enhanced end-user experience bodes well for the spread of CC-licensed media and is phenomenal news for creators and consumers of web based text.