I was going through the server logs on one of my (pretty much unadvertised) blogs (uniblog.co.uk) when I started noticing a LOT of hits from bots all calling themselves "Onfolio/3.0 Beta 2".
Since I'd never heard of this, I went exploring... Turns out it was a maturing web service which seems to aggregate online content and research which was recently acquired by Microsoft. From their site,
Onfolio is an add-in for the Windows Live Toolbar that helps you collect and organize online content, read RSS news feeds, and share content in emails, blogs and documents. With Onfolio, you get all of these tools built into your browser for simplicity. Whether you are planning a trip, looking for a job, investigating a major purchase, or simply looking for a better way to keep up with the news that interests you, Onfolio will help you be more efficient, thorough and organized.
From what I see, there's either existing or planned development of:
- Blogging and commenting integration
- News aggregation via XML/RSS
- Collaborative researching and sharing of information
- Creating an archive of files, research and other miscellanea for retrospective review
- Tight(er) integration into the browser to complement standard searching
... and more besides. There's loads of info on the OnFolio site.
I've had loooooooads of hits from various IPs in various subnets, but all with reverse DNSes ending in .as9105.com - one which I recognise from past experience as a Freeserve-now-Tiscali AS.
So, is it just pure coincidence that loads of (only) Tiscali users are using the OnFolio IE Search Toolbar plugin, or is there something else going on? All the IPs I checked out resolved to dynamically-assigned IPs in the ADSL ranges (194-247-239-150.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com [188.8.131.52] and 212-1-142-110.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com [184.108.40.206] are two examples) but for the life of me I can't quite work out why there's no requests from anywhere else aside from Tiscali subnets!
Anyway, this tool looks quite nifty - all the requests have been for my XML feeds, which I assume ties in with the ability of the software to aggregate news via RSS (go figure) but still, I'd not really heard about this at all and now all of a sudden looks like they're gearing up to a larger webcrawl to get their content together. And if they're spidering my little old web sites... They must be nearing out-of-beta.
So, go check out OnFolio - now owned by Microsoft (hiss) but it still looks fairly cool to use if you're into your inline toolbar widgets. There's also an OnFolio Group Blog if you're thusly-inclined, I'm pretty sure if you had any more questions about the service or where it's headed, they're all answered on there.