Tag Archives: plugin

Research Web Pages Smarter with Scrible

If you’re a fan of Evernote, you’re going to love Scrible. This simple-to-use bookmarklet will make your research SO much easier. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to find something for school or work… Scrible will be able to help you mark what you need in a way that makes sense to you. It may only be in beta form right now, but I have yet to find any real “issues” with it after using the service for a few hours tonight.

There’s nothing to install or download, and you can choose to use it as either a bookmark right on your toolbar or as a browser extension. To use as a bookmarklet, simply drag it to your browser’s bookmark toolbar. To use Scrible as an addon, follow the steps provided for your browser of choice.

As you can see from my screenshot, you have several different options available to you once you click to open Scrible. Highlight text just as you would with those little yellow markers on a physical page. Click on the color changer, choose a color and highlight any words you want to change the color of. Underline, bold, italicize or even strike through any text you decide needs to stand out a little more. Click the little note button to add notes to the website – anywhere on the page – and even choose which color you want them to be. You can place tiny little sticky notes everywhere!

When you are finished marking up the page, you aren’t really finished. If you choose to sign up for a free account, you can now save your annotated web page to your Scrible account online, making it simple to retrieve later. Additionally, you can quickly send an email copy of what you’ve done to yourself or anyone else… right from the bookmarklet. Best of all, there’s no chance of losing your work accidentally. If you attempt to close or change the page before saving a copy, a nice warning box will pop up asking if you really want to navigate away without saving.

You won’t have to head to the website to sign in each time you use Scrible: click the login button on the left end of the toolbar. When you’re finished and want it out of your way, click the large X at the right side. And of course, you can drag and drop Scrible anywhere on the page at any point in time.

This, my friends, is web research done right. Grab Scrible for yourself and let me know in the comments what you think!

Block Your Ex From the Internet

Sometimes, breaking up is hard to do. In the age of sharing our lives online, breaking up is even harder. Quite often, our ex is shoved in our faces via the computer screen every time we log into our favorite websites. If you were connected in several different places, it may be difficult (emotionally, as well as physically) to block or remove them from them all. With Ex-blocker, you don’t have to worry about it. You can simply block him or her for good with a few clicks.

Logging in to Facebook and having your ex’s face sitting on top of a message saying “Add as a friend!” might cause scars to rip right off of still-healing wounds. It’s painful to have to look at their name or face every time you click over to a new page, isn’t it? Ex-blocker will help. Fill in the information requested (such as name, Twitter handle and Facebook URL) and the application creates your own personal browser plugin. Right now, it only works on Firefox and Chrome, but we may see other browsers supported in the near future. You can create blockers for up to five ex-peeps at a time.

Many of you guys are likely scoffing and rolling your eyes right now. However, think of it this way: you’re too manly to cry, yes. But doesn’t it make your blood boil every time you see your ex girl hanging all over her new dude in a picture on Twitpic, Flickr or Facebook? Stop torturing yourself, dude. Just block her already and get on with your life. She wasn’t right for you anyway.

It’s Time to Use a Different Browser When…

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Over on Lockergnome.net, Michael asked people which web browser they prefer, and why. This is something I am asked constantly. It certainly seems as though everyone has a definite preference: there are over a thousand views on that question alone, and several pages’ worth of answers. I’ve been using Safari for quite awhile, but I think I’m on the cusp of switching to something different.

The one I’m thinking of using is another webkit browser – Google Chrome. To be more specific, I plan on using the browser on which Chrome is based – Chromium. It’s very powerful, and it’s only getting better. It’s exceedingly fast, and there are a lot of extensions already available. Heck, there’s already five extensions that have been made by our community members that each have something to do with what we do on a daily basis!

It’s a big deal for most people when you switch primary browsers. There’s usually a good reason that you decided to make the change. Let’s face it – we hate change most of the time, even when it comes to our browsers. I’ve used Safari for nearly three years now, so yeah – this is a big deal for me.

With Chromium, I get nightly update builds loaded right onto my computer. That’s important to me… I’m always on the bleeding edge with the latest they have to offer. When you spend as much time as I do surfing the Internet, having the best browser available is critical.

Which browser do YOU use, and why is it your favorite?

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

How to Share URLs

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Dylan recorded this screencast for the community to pass along his favorite method of sharing website URLs quickly and easily. Shareaholic is a plugin that works with nearly every browser, and makes sharing simple.

You’ll be able to share your link with more than 100 different places with one click. You can share the pages out on places such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Mail, WordPress and many more. Add the services and sites that YOU use. Your bookmark bar will stay nice and clutter-free since you won’t have to keep track of all the places you normally click one at a time to share a link.

With Shareaholic, you can also find out the latest news as it is happening, and share it with everyone in your network. It’s a free plugin/extension, it won’t slow down your browser and it makes life a whole lot easier!

Thanks, Dylan, for sharing this awesome resource.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Block Ads in Safari

Many people prefer to enhance their browsing experience by adding features such as AdBlocking. With Safari, that is more difficult to do than it is with other browsers. Several of you also choose to block Flash applications, using plugins such as NoScript. However, Alex wrote in to tell all of you about a much easier-to-use plug-in that can be loaded onto Safari.

ClickToFlash is a Flash-blocking plug-in for Safari on Mac OS X. By installing ClickToFlash, you will no longer have Flash-based applications load automatically on the computer. Instead, you can choose (or not choose) to click just once to allow the Flash object to play. This way, you get Flash only when you want it!

You can also configure ClickToFlash to always allow Flash to load on certain websites. In addition, ClickToFlash allows you to view YouTube videos in QuickTime, instead of Flash! You can also change your settings right in ClickToFlash to always (only!) display YouTube videos in H.264, no matter what video you’re watching! Simply go into Safari and ClickToFlash, then choose the “Settings” option. From there, just check a box to allow the default to change.

Thanks Alex, for sharing this with us. I hadn’t yet tried this out, but you can bet I’ll be installing it today!

How to Improve Internet Explorer

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Back in the day, I used to love Internet Explorer. It was awesome… up until version 4 and above. A lot of people out there still use IE, and will continue to do so. You can install a new plugin that Google has released – and have your install of Internet Explorer kick serious browser butt once again.

Installing the new Google Chrome Frame plugin will allow you to still run Internet Explorer. But, instead of using the IE rendering engine (the way that HTML and objects are rendered) this plugin will supplant it with Google’s engine. This is so much faster, and will make web pages look even better.

You don’t need Google Chrome’s web browser installed. You can simply load this plugin, and everything will run faster and better from within Internet Explorer – including javascript! You can also start using open web technologies – like the HTML5 canvas tag – right away, even technologies that aren’t yet supported in Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8!!

So if you have friends and family who insist on using Internet Explorer, go ahead and install this plugin for them. They’ll never know you did it, and they’ll be raving about how much faster and better their IE is running!

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

How to Create Art from Digital Photos

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Someone decided to print a digital photo, and then turn it into a work of art by placing it on canvas. They also applied styles to it to make it look as though it had been painted. If you look at it from a distance, it truly does look like it was painted by hand! Did you know there is software that you can use to make your digital photos look like works of art? It’s easy to do, using Snap Art 2.

Quickly start by choosing from hundreds of new styles and ten natural media, such as oil paint, watercolor, and pencil sketch. Then customize anything from brush size to paint thickness to make your signature look. Snap Art’s wide range of control lets you make your work completely unique.

The folks at AlienSkin have long been the leader when it comes to PhotoShop plugins – and this is definitely not an exception. Snap Art is an amazing little plugin! There’s a color pencil effect, as well as an oil painting one. You can choose to apply pen-and-ink or pencil sketch to your photo, or even make it look like it is a comic strip!

You may think you already have these things built into PhotoShop. But, you can’t tweak it to make it perfect. It’s just too difficult and limited. AlienSkin makes it simple. You just click the different templates and styles, and let it apply them for you. If you hate it – revert back and do something different.

You won’t get as much detail and perfection by using PhotoShop alone. You definitely want to check out Snap Art if you love to mess with photos. What 3rd party filters do you use? I want to see what our audience is into at this point in time. If you use coupon code: CHP0900, you can save 10% off your order through the end of June!

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:


Do You Need a Better Blog Search Tool?

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

You know my name, and you know how to find me. If you look at my blog, you know that I run WordPress as my blogging platform. I host my blog myself, and it works quite well for the most part. There is one plugin in particular that makes life much easier. The Viewzi Search Plugin provides a very visual way of searching the Web. Now, you can bring that experience to your own blog.

Viewzi Site Search (VSS) is a pilot program that takes the Viewzi search experience and embeds it on your website or blog. Your search results become highly visual, elegant and engaging!

With multiple Views to look at search results, visitors click 2-3 times more pages per search on average.

When you visit my website now, you will notice a new search box under the video. The view of results will superimpose instantly, without even having to reload the page. You can customize the way your search results display, in order to show you what is the most relevant to you. It makes it soooo much easier for you to find anything I’ve ever posted.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

An Essential Firefox Add-on

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

What page do you use in your default Web browser as your “start” page? Have you bothered to change it from the browser’s start page? As you know, Firefox 3 was officially released on the day this video is being posted. Now that you have it, what are you doing with it? Are you doing more than just browsing the Internet?

There’s a new application for Firefox 3 called Feedly. This is a plugin that integrates seamlessly with Firefox 3. It gives you the ultimate start page, but then again… it’s so much more than just a starting place. You can manage and DO so much with it. There’s a Twitter integrator, an Annotation tool, summaries of the most relevant content, and even a wall with an overview of articles recommended by your friends.

The welcome wizard can learn from your existing personalizations – bookmarks, My Yahoo!, Bloglines, Netvibes, Twitter, Yahoo Mail, Gmail and Friendfeed – and apply them to your feedly. feedly is an attempt to use everything which is good in cloud service, RSS and social connectivity to create a more social and magazine-like start page. Think MyYahoo meets Digg meets Wired.

You’re going to be able to browse and read your feeds right from within the Feedly interface. This will save you time, and get you more information faster. It’s a more social and magazine-like start page, made just for Firefox 3.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code:

How to Make an iPhone Web Site and Icon

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Yes, I have an iPhone. If you look closely, you can see my little Chris icon on there. It’s also on my home screen. When I tap it, it opens my blog. When you open my blog on your iPhone, it’s going to look a lot different than it would on a browser. That’s due to a plugin I am running in WordPress.

WP Touch is a plugin that was designed specifically for your iPhone or iPod Touch. What it does it to automagically reformat my blog (or any WP blog), and optimizes it specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It gives it a whole new layout, even, that is designed to just render better on your Apple mobile device. There’s no better way of giving you a better experience than to use WP Touch on a blog that is running WordPress.

As I drill down into the actual content on the home page, I can cascade out and read brief previews. Or, I can dive deeper and go so far as to leave a comment. It loads fast, and it’s clean. It’s a great way of getting content specifically optimized. It even uses Gravatars! There’s even a little search button at the top. Simply tap that, and you’ll be able to run a search through my blog.

How did I get the little Chris icon, you ask? If someone is viewing your website and they press the little plus (+) icon at the bottom in their Safari browser, they can select “add to home screen”. When they do that, the little graphic that is on my web server (or yours) is automatically pulled in when it’s added to their home screen. Even if you don’t have the iPhone or the iPod Touch, you still want to do this. You don’t know who out there in your audience does have one. You want to give them an amazing experience. Just open up your favorite photo editor. You’ll need to create a .png file. The size can vary up to 60×60 pixels. I uploaded mine to my root directory. It’s very important to name it properly: apple-touch-icon.png. That has to be the name, and it has to be in the root directory. This way, the plugin will be able to pull in this icon.

Think of it: you’re doing something simple and free for your audience. If you’re like me, you want to do everything you possibly can in order to keep people coming back for more.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Over 300 Tag Searches in One Spot

Don’t expect every one of these searches to yeild results, though. The output was generated by a single OPML file and the Optimal OPML WordPress Plugin. Looking for other easy ways to display the OPML from Gada.be right now. Hell, entirely new sites could be built on top of the OPML we produce – much like RSS, it’s a poor man’s API.

From BlogWare to WordPress – Part Deux

Getting the code out of BlogWare and into WordPress was one thing. Getting everything else to work well has been something of a task. All my old URLs didn’t have any helpful keywords in them, so the 404 redirect script I found wasn’t working as effectively as it might have. Shayne pointed out that both the old URLs and new URLs have date information in them, so it would just take a little scripting before things would work easier for all those search engine visitors. I’ve got a new Google Sitemap submitted, FWIW.

I remembered the WP-Hackers, which we used to develop a Gada.be plugin – both standalone, and for the amazingly awesome Ultimate Tag Warrior. I posted my request, and received several satisfactory answers. Mark Jaquith responded with a single line of code that needed to be placed at the top of the .htaccess file. Easy. Done. Awesome.

Cleaning Up Old Posts

Here’s what I need: a WordPress plugin that will go through old posts and comments, detect where there’s no blank lines between paragraphs, then insert a blank line for me. I’m sure there’s a complicated way to do it through MySQL, but Shayne and I have been trying to figure out how to do it effectively without ruining everything. Beyond that, the transition has been going relatively well. There’s still a lot of tweaking to do.