Trailfire: More-evolved Web stickies

Trailfire, like Stickis, lets you annotate Web pages with Post-It-like notes.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
Trailfire, like the recently-launched ActiveWeave Stickis, lets you attach notes that other people can see to Web pages, and then link your notes together in a trail, like a old-fashioned Web ring. The product has been out since August, but at Demo 07 the company will show how it has evolved its product in a few smart ways.

A Trailfire pop-up on an old Wired News story. CNET Networks

Users can now leave comments on annotations, making them nice jumping-off points for focused discussions. Also, each "trail" gets its own Web page as a "trailhead." That's so Google will pick up the trails and index them.

Anyone can read Trailfire notes and follow trails without a browser add-on. You need the the Trailfire software to create trails, though.

I like the Trailfire (and Stickis) concept, and this one is nicely executed. Web annotation is an interesting form of hypertext (CEO John O'Halloran even dropped the obligatory Memex reference when he demonstrated it for me). I'm not sure the world is ready for yet another way to navigate the Web, but for particular uses--leading people on tours of various Web sites, mostly--Trailfire looks very handy. Follow my brief Web sticky note trail for a real-world example.

See also: Squidoo, YooNo, Diigo.