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Spickr mimics browser extensions with IFrames instead

Get a sidebar full of links without installing anything.

Spickr is a strange take on the browser sidebar. These creations usually require you to install a small extension into your browser that will give you a new menu on the left or right side of your browser (see Yoono, gDocs Sidebar, et al). Instead, Spickr's solution is to run everything inside top and side IFrames that contain a slew of links to various news and entertainment sites. Clicking on any of those links will load it up inside your browser while the Spickr interface remains.

Built in are a few tools like a Delicious bookmark viewer that opens up your saved bookmarks in the canvas while allowing you to hop back to open others. There's also an Add This sharing tool integrated in the top corner along with a search tool that replaces the one in your browser. It's the only way the service gets its cash (the same way your browser does), but it's also in there so you can do a search without getting jettisoned off the Spickr interface.

Competing link repositories like Guy Kawasaki's AllTop and Original Signal have had similar efforts for a while now, however, both of those let you see headlines and small scraps of stories. Spickr's approach is simply the links and a simple way to come back to the directory in case you get lost. It ends up being a great way to explore new sites you may have never heard of. My only qualm is the categorization, which is all over the place. The tech section in particular has subcategories that I think could be done a little better. That said, there are in excess of 400 sites, which is quite a bit to sort through. Hopefully, in the future users will be able to help edit and shape the categories and even get rid of sites they don't use.

The screenshot below really doesn't do the service justice. You can give it a go with this page by clicking here.

Spickr lets you surf a large directory of categorized sites quickly and easily without leaving the directory. And there's nothing to install either. (Click to enlarge) CNET Networks