“Activities” is one of the new features of Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). Activities in Internet Explorer 8 are contextual services that provide quick access to external services from any webpage.
The external pages are the Service Providers from whom we can lookup for Information related to data in the current page.
Alternatively, we can send content or data from the current webpage to another application (say Windows Live).
I’ve used some third-party tools that was able to perform searches but this is more an enhanced version which covers different categories of contents and information and how we want to handle information than just a mere search.
There are a list of Activity Service Providers that a user can add to Internet Explorers list. This list is available here
While this list is not exhaustive and will grow in number as we are aware it is still early days for IE8 (in Beta). Also, service providers can advertise their Activity on the websites as microsoft has provided an openService activity toolkit for the developers.
To add a Activity Service provider, simply click on the Service Provider link (I use MSNBC here)
You can make any service provide as a default by selecting the checkbox “Make this my default provider for this type of activity”
Let us try adding a Activity Service Provider and see how it works..
Here, I’m adding MSNBC as a Activity Service Provider.
To make it a default for the activity type “Lookpup” then select the checkbox “Make this my default provider for this type of activity”
Now, thats added, let’s put that to work to see how the “Activity” feature works.
Here in this website, I block the word “Activity” on the website. This brings up a “Green Arrow” adjacent to it. Click on it and Select more activities and you should find “MSNBC”. When you place mouse over MSNBC, it brings up a small window with related information from MSNBC.
Now, that sounds fun!!! not only that. Making information on a website more contextual and allowing websites and its contents to be more interactive makes it all even more fun and make internet a better place.