WOT‘s that you say? “What’s WOT? Why should I care about a new version?” Well, you should care, and I’ll explain what WOT is right now.
WOT (identified in about:config parameters as “weboftrust”) is a browser add-on (currently for Firefox only, but an Internet Explorer version is coming soon [scroll down]) that provides ratings for websites you visit. Think of it as an entirely user-driven McAfee SiteAdvisor (don’t bother asking about them, please; not worth the time because of all that marketing).
Sites are rated in four categories: Trustworthiness, Vendor Reliability, Privacy, and Child Safety. I’ll cover the old and new interfaces once I manage to get my hands on the final version of the new release —
the server is currently returning a 404 for the file — but this gives a very comprehensive rating of the sites you visit.
The categories are pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll briefly summarize. Trustworthiness is pretty much an overall rating. Vendor Reliability gives you an opportunity to rate how well the site conducts business. Privacy shows how well the site keeps your information secret. Finally, Child Safety gives a filter for adult content. These categories translate to the old “How trustworthy is domain.tld? As a business partner? As a keeper of personal information? As a safe destination for children?” categories, and the ratings from those days have of course been saved; the renamings are purely cosmetics- and usability-related.
I’ve been holding a preview release of WOT under my keyboard for a few days now, and I gave some feedback to the developers, which was hopefully acted upon. I saw one other user in the comments to the “just around the corner” post who mentioned the preview, leading me to believe the pre-release community was very small. As a personal shout-out to Sami and the rest of the WOT team, I am honored that they chose me as a tester.
Stay tuned for another post on the changes and enhancements in the new WOT, plus some additional feedback (hope you’ve got your eyes peeled, WOT Team) and a run-down of the last few days’ discussion in the WOT Blog comments.
Update (2008-03-19): I definitely dropped the ball on this. WOT for Internet Explorer has been available since December. Whoops…
Update (2009-12-10): Thanks to a plugin on my new WordPress site, I noticed that the blog links in this and the next post were broken, as were the redirects put in place by MyWOT.com. I emailed them and got the updated links; finally, they work again.