24 June 2009
South African company JiQA has released a new tool that promises to transform traditional web browsing. JiQA’s “intelligent browser” determines the value of web pages to both individual users, and a user community, to help people find the information they really want in the ever-expanding jungle of online content.
“The system is so dynamic that we think of it as live browsing,” says JiQA co-founder Kevin Davie. “It is like being in a group sharing newspapers and magazines and pointing out the best stuff to others to read.”
Co-founder Chandra Dake says JiQA puts humans back in the driving seat. He explains that, unlike the major search engines that employ computer crawlers to trawl the internet for content, JiQA is entirely driven by people deciding which content they want to browse.
JiQA has at its core an “intelligent browser” that determines the value of a web page to the user and stores information about the page on the user’s computer. This means that previously browsed pages can be quickly retrieved, by ranking and a keyword, from the user’s hard drive.
At the same time, JiQA sends the page’s ranking to a central server, where the rankings of all users are pooled and made available – paving the way for what Davie calls “collaborative browsing”.
“The system is entirely anonymous,” says Davie. “No private information is collected, and neither do we track user behaviour through cookies or IP (internet protocol) addresses.”
Should users prefer not to share their browsing, they can simply activate a privacy feature on their JiQA browser.
According to the founders of the company, JiQA addresses the explosion of social media and the endless expansion of internet content it has spawned.
“The internet is making it hard for us to keep up with the flood of new information which is created all the time,” says Davie. “JiQA’s shared browsing function makes it very easy for users to access fresh pages which are constantly being sifted by the user base of browsers.”
Dake says that JiQA does not seek to replace traditional search engines; rather, it combines search with browsing in a new, powerful way.
“JiQA works like any browser. You can use it to search your favourite search engine, but as you browse the searched pages, you are both keeping a memory of these pages on your hard drive, and sharing the browsing, so that others can benefit from the time you spent sifting through the results pages.”
The JiQA browser comes with the key features that internet users have come to expect: it is fast, secure, blocks pop-ups, and offers tabbed browsing and favourites.
JiQA’s beta release is Windows-only, meaning that it runs on PCs and newer Macs.
For more information, and a free download, visit www.jiqa.com.
Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material