Surf3D -- User Stories
Using the Google Usenet Agent: Bill M. I use Surf3D to find valuable old message posts in the new Google Usenet archive database since I am teaching myself how to build guitars. I start by entering in a few search terms into the Google Usenet search window. When the search results come back, often thousands of hits long, I then start up the Surf3D agent. It plows into all of them and grabs key sentence extracts relating to a bunch of optional keywords I entered into different Surf3D metric channels. I get to see all the posts at once in the 3D display with text captions of the subject lines for each post. The point and click feature is neat since I can click on the bigger spheres or taller bars and open the browser to those posts to see if my search is on the right track. Now I can examine thousands of posts and instantly sort them by my alternate keyword counts for each subtopic, and without having to start over with a Google search again or having to click through on every single Google hit. Google doesnt provide much info for each hit. With Surf3D I was able to easily and quickly collect useful tutorial information I needed on guitar making and acoustics, and rank it according to my topic focuses of acoustics, instrument modifications, and different types of instruments.
Using the eBay Agent: Scott M. I just love to buy cool things on eBay, especially great deals on Folk Art when they show up. I go to eBay and type in the search terms for Folk Art and usually get back a huge results list. Then I have Surf3D get the search results URL from my browser. Surf3D digs into hundreds and hundreds of individual auction pages so I don't have to do all that click surfing. It collects some text descriptions from each auction, downloads full size pictures of the art, the current bid price, if the item has a reserve amount, and the number of bids on each item. What is great is that this saves me many hours of time culling through all the auction pages and produces a convenient and useful preview of each auction page, I get to rank Surf3D auction item reports based on number of bids for example (something eBay site tools do not provide). I get an all-in-one combined report in my browser so I see things I am interested in a few seconds from all of the auctions. The only problem with this is now Im buying more stuff from eBay than I ever did before, since it takes so much less time and effort to get many more choices. I used to get tired before I could browse all the auction pages I might have wanted to see. If I see something I want to bid on, I just click on the Surf3D report listing and it opens the browser to that eBay auction page. This is a fantastic tool to find bargains on eBay.
Using the Yahoo Boards Agent: Aaron H. I like to search the Yahoo Message Boards to find interesting posts on how to make money on the internet, and new business ideas. Surf3D lets me drill into hundreds of posts without clicking on each one. I get sentences extracted from any post that have keywords of interest to me, and rank all the posts according to those that discuss those keywords more. Its allowed me to find exactly what I am more interested in, and far more easily. The graphical screensaver animations of the web are fun to look at too.
Using the BBC News Agent: Michael H. I go to the BBC news website a lot and use the search feature to follow the War on Terrorism from the European perspective. Since I get so many search returns, I use Surf3D to drill down into all the BBC news search returns and get a concentrated report extract of every article. I fill the Metric channels of Surf3D with words I want to count in any article, and that lets me change how I rank the article extracts in the browser report. This way I see the news articles of greater interest to me right away, and I get to avoid clicking into all the news articles except the ones I really want to see more of. Thats hot! Also, I really enjoy seeing the animated 3D views of lots of articles in one big picture.
Using the Patent Search Agent: Steve W. Im an inventor. Once in a while I try to patent an idea or design. When Im writing up my patent application, I go to the US Patent online database to look for prior art, that is, existing patents that I might need to cite. The US Patent search tools are very nice, but one thing they don't do is text extracts. I use Surf3D to get those extracts so I can review lots of patents in short order to see if they are relevant prior art. I just put my general keywords into the US Patent search box, and I get about 300 to 400 patent hits. Then I click to start my Surf3D Patent Agent. It goes through all the patents and get extracts that contain the specific keywords Im looking for. In the past I would have to click on and read through every single patent to see if its relevant. With Surf3D all I have to do is open the report and I see dozens of patent hits at once with the important stuff extracted out of the patents. I rule out the stuff thats unimportant right away, and go on to read the whole patents that look most relevant. This has already saved many days of reading for me, and has reduced my patent search time by 80 percent. Thank you for makiing this tool.
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