Home iBreadCrumbs: A Browser Add-On for Web Research

iBreadCrumbs: A Browser Add-On for Web Research

iBreadCrumbs is a new web browser add-on designed specifically for students, researchers, professionals, or anyone who is doing research on the web. By clicking a toolbar button in your browser, you can use iBreadCrumbs as a clickstream recorder, recording the web sites you visit while researching a particular topic. Your saved research can then be shared with others through the iBreadCrumbs social network so others can continue where you left off.

How iBreadCrumbs Works

Although iBreadCrumbs says its designed for anyone, when you go to sign up for the social network, you’re prompted to enter in your school’s information – a step that should really be removed if they want to reach a wider audience. You can easily forge this information though – no .edu email address is required. Once you’re logged in, you simply download the iBreadCrumbs add-on for Firefox which installs a browser toolbar.

On the toolbar, there’s a “Start” you use when you’re ready to begin recording your clickstream at the start of your web research. While you’re surfing from web site to web site, iBreadCrumbs is saving the URLs of the sites you visit. When you find a useful page, you can add notes to the page to help you remember why it was important. When you come across pages that aren’t relevant, you can delete them as you go or you can delete them later on when you finish recording. When you’re finished researching, you just click the “Stop” button and iBreadCrumbs ceases its recording.

Viewing Your Breadcrumbs

At this point, you’ll now have access to a page where all the web sites you visited have been saved for you in a list. Here, you can further edit the links by giving the pages titles, adding more notes, removing unnecessary pages, and categorizing the links to better organize your findings.

Breadcrumbs About I.T. Security

If this is an ongoing research project, this saved clickstream can be added to a previous clickstream (these clickstreams are called “breadcrumbs”). By doing this, you can keep building upon your prior research.

You can choose to share your breadcrumbs publicly with others via the iBreadcrumbs network where they can be commented on and rated or you can privately share your items with a colleague or friend. Breadcrumbs can also be exported out of the web browser and into Excel.

When you’re ready to review your breadcrumbs and incorporate them into whatever project you’re working on, you can use the “Breadcrumb Viewer,” which lets you flip through each saved web page as if you were viewing a slideshow.

Not Just For Students

On the iBreadcrumbs network, you can socialize with others – adding friends and joining groups with whom you can share your breadcrumbs. This could be especially useful for student groups who are working on a project together, but it could also be useful to business teams researching a particular subject. Hopefully, iBreadcrumbs will see their greater potential and do away with the required “school” field you must fill in during the sign up process. If you want to try iBreadcrumbs for yourself, you can access it here.

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