What I Just Stumbled Upon for Firefox

April 7, 2007 @ 10:08 am | Filed under: , , , ,

I love Firefox. Have I mentioned that I love Firefox? I was browsing the add-ons this morning and found some good, good stuff. 1-Click Weather, for example: a handly little extension that puts current-weather icons in the status bar at the bottom of your screen. Here, I’ll show you:


How handy is that?

I’m also quite pleased with the del.icio.us add-on, which I should have installed a long time ago. It puts two small icons in the top bar of your browser, right next to the window where you type in a URL. The first icon takes you to your del.icio.us bookmarks, and the second one ("tag") allows you to quickly add a new page to your bookmarks. What I especially like is that the tag page pops up in a new window, saving you the trouble of clicking back to the page you were reading. I am using del.icio.us more and more for tagging articles I want to come back to, post about, etc.

But the coolest find of the morning? StumbleUpon, which many of you probably already know about, but I only vaguely recall having heard of before. (Here’s the link to its Firefox add-on page.) StumbleUpon adds another little bar to the top of your browser, under your bookmarks toolbar. At first I didn’t like that at all (since it makes the text area of my browser window just that much smaller), but after playing around with it for a while, I’m totally sold, and here’s why.

When you click on the Stumble icon in that toolbar, you are instantly taken to a random website. When you set up your free StumbleUpon account, you can select categories for these random sites to come from. The sites are recommended by other StumbleUpon users. You can click a thumbs-up icon ("I like this site") or a thumbs-down one ("don’t like it"), or do neither and just go to another page. Okay, thus far, StumbleUpon is just a websurfing tool, right? But what I LOVE about it is the little "Send to" icon in the toolbar. When you click on that, a little pop-up window lets you quickly and easily email the link for the page you’re viewing. No cut-and-pasting. I want to share a site with Scott? Click! It’s on its way.

I LOVE this feature.

It works for any page you’re on, not just sites you have "stumbled upon." Likewise, you can thumbs-up (or down) any website you are visiting. Since the StumbleUpon toolbar is in your browser window all the time (remember, that’s what I didn’t like about it at first?), you can recommend or email any page, any time, very conveniently.

And there’s some pretty interesting stuff to be stumbled upon, I must say. I gave my first (and so far, only) thumbs-up to this awesome site. I have to say awesome like a kid because I am that excited about it. It’s called Earth Album, and it’s the marriage of Google Maps and Flickr. You’re shown a world map, and when you click on any area, a little slide-show bar appears at the top of the screen, with Flickr photos of the region in question. I can’t wait to show this to my children. It’s going to be the perfect compliment to our Journey North project.

What are your favorite Firefox add-ons?  What other awesome hacks am I missing?

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4 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Love2learn Mom says:

    I love the choose-your-own search box (add whichever search choices you like – such as dictionary.com, imdb.com, etc. in one search box.

    The weather thing seemed like a nice idea until I started getting pop-up weather warnings all the time. Not so much of a problem in S.D. 🙂

    I used Firefox for awhile but for some reason it crashed on me quite frequently. I ended up going back to a newer version of explorer which has some of the same features I loved in Firefox.

    Oh, and Happy Easter!

  2. Ana Braga-Henebry says:

    Stumble Upon is very powerful: perhaps too powerful. Although I thought I was careful enough with my interest choices, I began, after a few days, to stumble upon some sites I would have never chosen to … well, to stumble upon. And then there was an incident with one of our pre-teens, stumbling upon sites the piked his curiosity. Since then, we have all, like it or not, stayed away from Stumble Upon. I enjoyed your post– just thought I’d warn you. How has your experience with it been so far?

  3. Kathryn says:

    Ooh! Fun! I love Firefox but hadn’t come across these.

  4. Missy says:

    Firfox is great, but watch out for those ad ons. They can really slow down your computer because they constantly run in the background.