Sunday, January 04, 2009

A few recommendations for your blog hopping pleasure

I haven't had time to make cards yet, but while I was sitting here having my coffee, I thought I'd jot a few thoughts about making blog-hopping and web-surfing a bit easier and more fun.

The other day on the Gingerwood stamping forum, someone made mention of TinyURL as a quick way of making long URLs into short ones that are easy to paste into messageboard posts, replies etc. You can go to the site and convert a long link. I use the Firefox add-on version that's called TinyUrl creator. This will convert long URLs with just a right-click, or a control-click for Mac users.

This discussion then turned to CoolIris, which is a cool 3D way of looking at stuff on the internet. I have this as a Firefox add-on, too, but haven't used it much. One thing that's fun to do with it though is to go to a blog, click on one of the images to view in CoolIris, then all of the photos on that blog end up on the 3D wall for viewing. That's kinda fun!

I've mentioned being an avid user of Google Reader. I love to keep track of the blogs that I follow by subscribing to them via GR. I like reading feeds without being surprised by unexpected music. I also like accessing them via Blogger when I want to add a blog roll or something similar to my sidebar. Most of all, I like being able to see new blog posts and read them all from one spot!

Recently, GR did some revamping. In doing that, one of my favorite tweaks was 'broken'. I'd added, via a Firefox Greasemonkey add-on, a script that added a Preview button to Google Reader. It was called GPE. I loved that! Not everyone posts full feeds of their blog posts, so I could click on that little button to see the full feed in Google Reader without leaving GR. I found a tip for fixing it, tried it, didn't work for me. I was bummed. :-( Then I found a different Firefox add-on that claimed to add a preview button called Better GReader. I tried it. It works! I'm happy again!

And since I'm talking about making web surfing easier, I'll mention one more Firefox add-on that I'd hate to do without, and that's Linkification. It basically turns any text link into a clickable link. So, if someone copies and pastes a URL into a message, linkification will turn it into a link that you can just click on. I've always loved this add-on.

So, to make your blog hopping travels easier or more fun, those are just a few recommendations. :-)


  1. Hi, Jay.

    Are all these fun things ones that you use on a pc or a mac. I find lots of times all the FUN stuff doesn't work on a mac. Which is a bummer. I know you have a mac so I'm wondering if you use the GR on your mac or on your pc. :D

    Thanks for the tips!



  2. Wow.. what a great idea! I agree it would be great to have a little tweak to view the entire post in GR.. and I really DON'T like being surprised by loud music when visiting a blog. Wish more people would listen up about music and have an option to turn on vs BLAST upon first visit. It's even more annoying that if you disable the music, and move around the blog, it comes right back, just as loud!

  3. I'm using the fun stuff on the Mac, Judie, and have been using Google Reader without any problem for a long time.

    Sharon, it really is great to be able to see an entire post without leaving GR, and by this I mean the posts that have full feeds--those are the ones where I don't need to worry about music surprising me. I'll just warn you that if you click on Preview and there's music on that particular blog, you'll still get the music.

  4. Thanks so much for the links - I installed the Better GReader and I love it. I was right on the verge of unsubscribing from those blogs that don't include a full feed and now I don't have to. The other thing I love about it is that you can leave comments without having to leave Google Reader! Awesome!

  5. I love the tip about linkification. I don't know how many times I've come across links in message board written in plain text. This makes it so fast. Thanks,

  6. I love using Google Reader to read all the blogs I subscribe to. They are all in one place and I can save and index the post I really like or learn something from. Is there an explorer version of Better GReader?

  7. Sharron Lynne, I haven't used Internet Explorer routinely for years, so I haven't kept up with what is available for it. I did a quick peek at some of their add-ons but didn't see anything similar to Better GReader. Hopefully they'll catch up soon and make something like that available for IE users.


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