Walking through the Web: Web2Walk

Posted by Matthew Murphy on Tuesday, August 28th, 2007. Filed under: eHub Features

Web 2.0 provides us with all sorts of ways to check our favorite sites. However, for the most part, we’ve been constrained primarily to using browsers, email and RSS Feeds. With the dawn of this second internet, there seem to be a plethora of new ways to surf the internet. Walk2Web takes old paths and give them an upgrade.

What is Walk2Web?

Walk2Web is an application that allows you to surf the web based directly on the links within the site. You begin by entering the name of the site you wish to browse, and then it comes up in the browser, complete with a female computer voice giving out the name of the site. The voice seems to work okay with site names: It got Emilychang.com, but didn’t even bother to pronounce my site name (which is JTDabbagian.com) and just simply spelled it. Honestly, considering how people have messed up my last name so many times in my life, I was glad that it didn’t bother.

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From the initial viewing of your site, you see a tree-map or central node which represents the website you’re currently visiting, and all of the links to other nodes/websites that the specified site links to. You can then click on each of the links and go to different websites, which will then produce an ever-expanding tree-map with new nodes and new links you can click on. Of course, like any browser, you can also go backwards and forwards too.

What makes this good?

One of the reasons I like this site is that it allows you to visualize the way a website links to the various corners of the internet. If you’re viewing your own site, you can use Walk2Web to figure out if sites you talked about in the past have updated to have better content. It also allows you to rediscover websites that you talked about long ago, but have simply forgotten about. Maybe you’re looking for that old website that had the list of plugins for your blog, but you don’t know where it is? Odds are, if you blogged about it, it’s there somewhere, and Walk2Web can help you find it.

Problems walking the path of 2.0

As with every good path, there’s always a rather rocky mountain to trek up. For instance, Walk2Web is not designed with the typical monitor in mind. Most of the site gets squished in my browser, and it’s clear that at least a 20-inch monitor is required to surf using Walk2Web, otherwise you’ll have quite a time trying to get through the links of certain major sites. Just try going through eHub, and you’ll see what I mean.

Walk2Web offers a great way to figure out how we are all linked to each other. Any fan of the theory of Six Degrees of Separation will love seeing how certain sites link to each other. Otherwise, it’s good for examining how many sites you’ve linked to on your own blog, or comparing your blog to the links from your competitors.

Walk2Web is a good startup, and maybe with a few additional features, such as link analysis and statistics on how many sites link to a particular site, it could be a great way to measure how your favorite sites stand in the blogosphere. For now, it’s a way to discover new sites that have some hyperlinked connection with one another.