Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Frode and his team at Liquid Information have launched a demo of Hyperwords. Hyperwords is a very big idea about tools that make the web a lot more linky and contextual. For now, the demo allows you to load a web page through Hyperwords and mouse over and select various functions from a menu including looking up the definition, searching for on search engines including Technorati and highlighting. The cool thing about the highlighting is that the info is added to the URL so you can copy paste the URL to someone to give them your highlighting. Anyway, I know Frode is looking for feedback so give it a try and let him know what you think.

This blog piped through Hyperwords

Demo page for Hyperwords

UPDATE: Interview with Frode

UPDATE 2: Frode has released a new version:

demo page

This site viewed through version 4

To the page where you can make any page live


Yes, this is a very good idea. I have always been a big fan of Xanadu, and it is great seeing that some of it is coming back. Hotwords from Linspire, an open source extension to the Mozilla suite is very similar, also including definition lookups from contextual menus, translation, or spell-checking for online email composers.

isn't this kind of a variation of what everyone was upset about over google's basically turning words into links? Maybe the amount of effor that is required to opt-in makes a difference or maybe Google is just a better sensational headlines because overall this is a good idea.

the execution is a little clumsy (probably just b/c i'm running Opera) and a bit too much info, but i like it- especially since non-opera browsers don't have the highlight -> right click -> do a bunch of cool functions thing going on as much.

Love the fact you can copy and paste the link to others. If you can't share something, then what's the use

Thanks for commenting guys.

Dave, Linspire is cool, like GuruNet, no question. However, I'd like you to play with the hyperwords without mousing through the menus, just point and type the first (bold and blue) letter in of the menu. You don't have to wait, just type 'rsg' quickly for example and you search Google. You can also drag select text to do things on more than one word at a time, for example, turn a sentence purple. Very fast, and notice the structure of how you do that, it's the beginning of a kind of command language.

An important thing with hyperwords Fenton is that they are not links. Not more than you and I are linked through this page, in the sense of the colloquial term link from before the web. What hyperwords allow you to do is to issue commands, like 'look this up in the dictionary', which is not the same as a link.

As for the opt-in and Google and MS tags, that's a whole other ball game. All I can say is that the system is very extensible and already, you can see that both Yahoo and Google are there, more will come. You will even be able to set your own menu items at some point.

Please visit for more information if you are interested, or email me.

Er? So you want to do all your reading piped though some 3 party who can watch and track every thing you do?

Way cool also is the Firefox extension "Piggybank" [1].

Boris, tracking is a concern and we will not in any way share personal details with anyone. Period.

For your own use though, there is actually a planned feature whcih will allow you to track and use your own trails. This goes all the way back to Vannevar Bush.

And thanks for the Piggy Bank reference, this looks very nice!

Hiya. Hyperwords now works as a Firefox extension. Come over to and sign up for the next Beta release if you want :-)

Hyperwords 1.5 is out!

This is a substantial upgrade, featuring numerous small fixes and additions and a Toolbar.

Now this is very cool: Try Hyperwords with the Toolbar only. Go to Preferences (at the bottom of the menu) and click on the 'Apperance' tab. Then choose the 'Toolbar' mode.

You can now select text on a page, hit 'return' and it will hoist the selected text up to the Toolbar. You may now choose a command with your mouse or use the keyboard shortcuts to rapidly issue commands.

Take a look at the the new User Guide (also at the bottom of the menu) to learn what else is new and a few tips and tricks if you want to.

Install Hyperwords for Firefox at

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El profesor Orihuela nos da el chivatazo de que en que en Joi.ito hablan de Hyperwords, un trabajo en fase beta del equipo de Liquid Information: Hyperwords are words you can reach out and touch - words you can perform 'operations' or 'commands' o... Read More