Trailfire – promising Firefox extension to create social trails through the web

I am kind of surprised to not have seen this come through my aggregator yet as it’s the kind of thing I thought the connectivist and open education crowd would be quite excited about. Maybe I just missed it, or maybe that just shows how clued out I am. Anyways, when I stumbled on this app the other day it was quite exciting as it’s something I’ve been seeking for a while.

Trailfire is a Firefox extension which allows you to easily create ‘trails’ through the web. ‘Trails’ are in essence sequences of webpages which can be annotated and can be shared with others. For instance, here’s is a trail I just created showing some of the applications I’ve found for creating trails online (how recursive!). Here’s another example, a trail on ‘elearning’ by someone called Ideanoth, and here’s another someone built to take you through learning CSS.

Each node in a trail, called a mark (and really just equivalent to a unique URL) can also receive comments from other users, so you can start to build up a bit of a threaded discussion around the nodes in a trail, and in addition, you can set the trailfire extension to show you any other marks from other users that have been set against any webpage. So all of a sudden, you can start to see how a specific resource can show up in multiple frames of reference.

Have a look; I think you could find fault with the interface and parts of the implementation, but I know the idea of being able to model how I’ve learned something by laying down trails that can then serve as the basis both for discussion and as starting templates for others’ trails really appeals to me as a way to ‘teach’ on the open web. – SWL