11 Chrome Extensions to Improve Your Social Media Experience

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Logo used from the start of the Chrome project until March 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Instagram

Instagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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English: A protester holding a placard in Tahrir Square referring to Facebook and Twitter, acknowledging the role played by social media during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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English: A collage of an image modified with 16 different Instagram filters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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11 Chrome Extensions to Improve Your Social Media Experience

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BY DANI FANKHAUSERJUN 24, 2013
If there’s one thing that ties all your digital experiences together, it’s your browser — let’s presume it’s Chrome. Maybe you use it on mobile in addition to desktop. It gets to know you, and you, it.But everyone has a few tricks up his or her sleeve.

We did a little recon and found quite a few Chrome extensions that impact and enhance the way we use social media. See, most social sites try to keep things simple — if they add too many features, it would start to confuse people, especially new users. Other sites are plain lazy and haven’t added that one feature everyone wants. But it might exist in extension form, and while you cannot impose it on others, you can apply it to your trusty Chrome browser.

Have you tried any of these Chrome extensions? Let us know what you think in the comments.

1. Instagram For Chrome

While it doesn’t support Instagram videos quite yet, the Instagram extension easily checks in on your stream without opening a new window. You have access to all the interactions — comments, likes, etc. — but of course you’ll need your phone to post a picture. Taking a quick Instagram break is a nice respite from any work day, and this extension makes it seamless.

2. Reddit Enhancement Suite

Reddit is not a pretty site — the focus is the content and minimalist functions, so the platform does without any bells and whistles. But wouldn’t you like just a few customizations? This extension can set your personal tastes, including a dark or light background, giving Reddit that Tweetdeck glow. One of my favorite functions, shown above, gives you more info about a user when you mouse over his or her username.

3. LastPass Chrome Extension

Some common recommendations for strong passwords: Use bad grammar and never apply the same password to multiple sites. If you’re constantly creating accounts for new sites — social media managers and job searchers, this means you — then LastPass can auto-generate a good password and save it for you.

The extension will fill out forms when you return to the site to log in.

4. Post To Tumblr

While Tumblr can be considered something of a blog, most users pick up content somewhere else and curate it, as they say. Whether you’re reading an article or come across an awesome GIF, the extension allows you to Tumbl it without leaving the page. If you select text on a page, the extension will post it as a quote — other options are link, photo or text.

You also have access to any of your many Tumblr blogs. You can send page content to drafts or your queue. Pro tip: The Post To Tumblr icon will show next to your other browser extensions,, but just right-click to use it.

5. Bitly Shortener for Chrome

If you’re the kind of person actively trying to grow a social following, or if you’re insecure about sharing the right things on Facebook and Twitter, use Bitly. The site started as a link shortener, but now provides analytics on those shortened links. If you get into the habit of using it when you post to social media, you can keep track of what was successful.

The extension is more intuitive than relying on various sites’ share buttons. It allows you to customize your post, but you don’t get a visual of how your post will look on Facebook, so personally, I still tend to open Facebook and post there (to make sure the right image shows). Note that this extension was made by a third-party developer, not Bitly, so the company won’t be able to help with support issues.

6. Evernote Web Clipper

Evernote is a great tool — so many people use it for so many different purposes. The Web Clipper tool allows you to use it a little like Pocket; however, instead of formatting a news article, this tool saves and organizes content. You might use it for a research project or recipe box, for example. The content of the web page you’re on will save to one of your notebooks.

7. Pocket

Pocket is essentially the DVR for content. Generally, users send articles they encounter on the web to their mobile devices, where they can read the content later. You can also use it to collect articles and refer back to them later.

I used the bookmarklet for a long time, but the extension is so much better. If I’m on a page and decide I can’t read it all now, I hit the icon in my browser to save it. But on both Reddit and Twitter, I don’t even need to open the link — I can send it automatically without leaving the stream. It makes both these sites much more efficient for finding news. The extension was built to work with Google Reader, which is shutting down, but presumably it will update to work with Digg’s reader and other new, similar apps.

8. GChat Pix

We’ve been emailing images to each other since I can remember, but for some reason Gchat hasn’t picked up the same ability — which is frustrating. With this extension, you can drag and drop an image from your desktop into the chat field and send it. It will appear as a link for your friend — as shown — but will preserve its original size. Easy.

9. Hover Zoom

Any social site before Pinterest is full of white space and text, but we really just want to look at pictures, right?

An amazing extension you won’t ever want to give up, Hover Zoom will open a larger version of thumbnail images when you mouse over them. This includes Twitter profile pictures, Google search images but most importantly, GIFs on Facebook — the site doesn’t support GIFs and you would normally have to click through to see one, but now Hover Zoom displays it for you. Genius.

10. Buffer

Buffer is a tool for queuing tweets and Facebook posts. You don’t want to dump a dozen heavy, intellectual articles on your followers first thing in the morning, do you? Many sites have a Buffer share button, but if you use the service at all, you’ll want the extension.

Use it like Bitly, with the caveat that you can either post immediately or “buffer” (you can also auto-shorten links in Buffer, if you’ve connected Buffer to Bitly). When you compose a tweet, for example, you can buffer directly from the Twitter.com homepage. When you retweet, you’ll have the option to buffer. It allows you to do all your tweeting in condensend chunks, without dominating the stream at once.

11. TOSDR

Most social sites have strict terms of service, which lay out how the site will use your information and data. Instagram came under fire last year for updating its terms in a confusing and possibly unfair way — meanwhile, most people have never read terms on any site. That’s why Terms Of Service Didn’t Read decided to make an extension.

You’ll see a letter or a grey question mark on the far right-end of the web address, which tells you more about the terms of the site you’re on. There are actually ongoing discussions for every site, as well, so the community can get involved in figuring out whether a site’s terms are “fair.” Not every site is rated yet, but hopefully it wil provide some guidance for web users.

Image composite via iStockphoto, Facebook, Twitter, Google Chrome

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14 Google Tools You Didn’t Know Existed

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English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...

English: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A table of keywords where the Philipp...

English: A table of keywords where the Philippines is in the top three when run in google trends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google's homepage 1998–1999

Google’s homepage 1998–1999 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A table of keywords where the Philippines is i...

A table of keywords where the Philippines is in the top three when run in google trends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usage statistics from English books, according...

Usage statistics from English books, according to Google Ngram Viewer. The spike in the 1700s can be explained by modern OCR technology reading the Latin long s as an f. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usage statistics from English books, according...

Usage statistics from English books, according to Google Ngram Viewer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14 Google Tools You Didn’t Know Existed

  • Google-ngram-viewer

    1. Google Ngram Viewer

    Google’s Ngram Viewer lets you search keywords in millions of books over the span of half a millennium, a useful tool for finding trends over time. For power users, the Ngram Viewer also has advanced options, such as searching for particular keywords as specific parts of speech or combining keywords. Just in case you ever wanted to see how big cocaine was in Victorian times, now you can.

    Screenshot courtesy of Google Ngram Viewer.

  • Google-correlate-draw

    2. Google Correlate

    A part of Google Trends, Google Correlate allows you to look at search trends over time. For example, input “soup” and you’ll see a clear increase in searches during the winter months. The more fascinating part of Google Correlate is the Search by Drawing function. Draw a fun graph and Correlate will give you search keywords that best match your graph creation.

    Screenshot courtesy of Google Correlate.

  • Google-trends-explore

    3. Google Trends

    Look at trends in hot searches with Google Trends. Browse by date, or look at top searches in different categories with the new Top Charts function. Finally, with the Explore function, input a search term and see how it trended over time and location. You can also now view popular searches in a colorful fullscreen format.

    Screenshot courtesy of Google Trends.

  • Google-think-insights

    4. Google Think Insights

    Home to an abundance of resources, Google Think Insights is a useful tool for entrepreneurs and industry professionals. There are case studies, new findings and tips on how to grow your business, as well as showcases of exemplary projects. Finally, there are also tools for maximizing your site analytics and ad campaigns. A particularly useful collection is how to “Make Your Website Work Across Different Platforms.”

    Screenshot courtesy of Google Think Insights.

  • Google-public-data

    5. Google Public Data Explorer

    Search through databases from around the world, including the World Bank, OECD, Eurostat and the U.S. Census Bureau. After you find what you want, filter through categories to make graphs with the axes you want. Google’s Public Data Explorer then displays the data in a line graph, bar graph, scatterplot or on a map.

    Screenshot courtesy of Google Public Data Explorer.

  • Google-full-value-of-mobile

    6. Full Value of Mobile

    A useful calculator for businesses, Google’s Full Value of Mobile will calculate just how much having a mobile site is worth. The tool will help you analyze how customers interact with the various aspects of your business, from mobile sites to calls to cross-device ability.

    Screenshot courtesy of Full Value of Mobile.

  • Get-your-business-online

    7. Get Your Business Online

    Get Your Business Online is Google’s initiative to get more local businesses on the web, in an effort to boost the local economy as well as help small businesses grow. The initiative also encourages people to get other businesses online, with an end goal of reaching every local business in America. There are also listings for events and lessons. The free service also includes hosting for one year.

    Screenshot courtesy of Get Your Business Online.

  • 8. Webmaster Tools

    Google’s Webmaster Tools allows webmasters to monitor a site’s health and traffic. Additional tools include a Structure Data Markup Helper and Google Places for Business.

    VIDEO: YOUTUBE, GOOGLEWEBMASTERHELP
  • Schemer

    9. Schemer

    Schemer is like a combination to-do list and social event planning app. Connect via your Google+ account, enter your preferences, and Schemer will offer some things to do around your area. A great tool for travelers who want to make the most out of a visit, as well as for locals who want to find something to do on an otherwise boring day. You can also collaborate with the friends in your Google+ Circles and see who wants to do the same things as you.

    Screenshot courtesy of Schemer.

  • Google-fonts

    10. Google Fonts

    Google Fonts offers open source web fonts for all to use privately or commercially. As of now, there are 629 font families available. Filter fonts by thickness, slant, width and script.

    Screenshot courtesy of Google Fonts.

  • Google-developers

    11. Google Developers

    Google Developers houses a plethora of resources that developers can use, tools such asinternationalizing different websites and live presentations of tutorials. Developers can also join groups in a local area for meetups and collaboration.

    Screenshot courtesy of Google Developers.

  • Google-dart

    12. Dart

    Dart is a programming language developed by Google in hopes of eventually replacing JavaScript as the language of modern web apps. Dart was released in 2011 and is still in its development stages. With a goal to make coding and collaboration simpler, Dart was designed to be simple enough that even beginning developers could learn from it.

    Screenshot courtesy of Dart.

  • 13. Google Keep

    Launched earlier this year, Google Keep app connects to your Google Drive. Sync-able across all your devices, Google Keep allows you to keep notes, voice memos, pictures and checklists in order. The easy-to-use interface is a simple app for those looking to do basic note-keeping on-the-go.

    VIDEO: YOUTUBE, GOOGLEMOBILE
  • Google-sky

    14. Google Sky

    A part of Google Earth, Google Sky allows you to explore space and star systems. In collaboration with NASA, using images from the Hubble Telescope, Google Sky is one of three subsidiaries of Google Earth, the others being Google Mars and Google Moon.

    Screenshot courtesy of Google Sky.

Show As Gallery

Now that you’ve written your eulogies for Google Reader, it’s a good time to remember that Google has an abundance of other resources that may not be as popular but still deserve a spotlight.We rounded up some lesser-known Google tools and applications that could help you cope with the loss of Reader and rekindle your love for Google.

From fun tools like Google Ngram Viewer to useful resources like Full Value of Mobile Calculator, you’ll find an array of tools for developers to small business owners to the average consumer.

Take a look at the gallery and let us know what your favorite Google tool is in the comments.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Scobleizer.

Consider Everything Short of a “Yes” a “No” ( Reblogged . Original by Gordon Daugherty)

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Yes Live at Columbia, SC (1974)

Yes Live at Columbia, SC (1974) (Photo credit: Hunter-Desportes)

Willamette University School of Education

Willamette University School of Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Classical ideal feedback model. The f...

English: Classical ideal feedback model. The feedback is negative if B (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Consider Everything Short of a “Yes” a “No”

I recently heard Dr. Robert Wiltbank from Willamette University use this analogy and loved it so much I had to share it with others.  Entrepreneurs are, by nature, very optimistic.  It’s one of their core survival skills.  But this often makes it hard for them to recognize signals of negative feedback.  This applies to things like the success of their product and progress towards the business plan targets.  But it also relates it to investor feedback while pursuing fundraising, customer feedback while pursuing a sale or vendor feedback while trying to secure a partnership.  Experienced sales professionals are trained to listen for negative feedback and use various techniques to assess the real viability of the opportunity.  But most co-founders aren’t experienced sales professionals and the techniques I’m referring to aren’t easily learned from a blog post or a book.

One way for a founder to compensate for their optimistic bias is to consider every response short of a “yes” to be a hard “no”.  For example:

  • “Maybe” = no
  • “Let me bring it up with my boss” = no
  • “Not now but perhaps in the near future” = no
  • “I love the idea but we’re just slammed right now” = no
  • “Let’s have a follow-up meeting to get into more details” = no

You get the idea.  Don’t necessarily give up on these opportunities but, more importantly, don’t change anything about your spending patterns, hiring plans or product direction based on these responses that you need to assume mean “no”.  Convert them to a legitimate “yes” and take any corresponding action that makes sense.  And remember that a single “yes” is only a single data point.  If it’s related to a strategic partnership with Google, that’s one thing but if it’s a commitment from a VAR to resell your product you probably want to string up a few more like that before concluding that you’ve got a channel-ready product on your hands.

The New Google Toilet Knows What You’re Shopping For!

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Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

Google Tasks + Fluid.app

Google Tasks + Fluid.app (Photo credit: banderson)

Google "Testing on the Toilet"

Google “Testing on the Toilet” (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

Google toilet stretching

Google toilet stretching (Photo credit: loiclemeur)

de: Struktur von Cobalamin (Vitamin B12); en: ...

de: Struktur von Cobalamin (Vitamin B12); en: Structure of cobalamin (vitamin B12) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google's "Super Toilet"

Google’s “Super Toilet” (Photo credit: TedsBlog)

Toilet

Toilet (Photo credit: sfllaw)

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280 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stick model of cyanocobalamin, based on this 3...

Stick model of cyanocobalamin, based on this 3DChem.com model (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google

Meet The New Google Toilet

The New Google Toilet Knows What You’re Shopping For! The Google Toilet spoof video is a definitely a play on Google’s ‘everywhere, everything’ presence. Today it does seem like Google can anticipate what you are looking for, what you are shopping for, and even where you are at any given time. If you have ever searched for an item only to be shown ads selling that exact same thing the next day, you know what this video is talking about.

Video shows us that the next logical step might just be the Google Toilet. This is a special toilet that sifts through your ‘deposit’ (it Googles it!) and then it can tell what foods you like (such as Indian food) and even what vitamins you are deficient in. Maybe even showing you ads for Vitamin B12 the next time you sit down at your PC.

The Google Toilet even gets your toxicology reports before you do, and posts them to social media.

The toilet sifts through your ‘crap’ (literally) and catalogues your information. The voice over announcer asks what is the worst that could happen, what with Google being ‘way up your ass’? At just that moment, the government storms in with guns, telling him he’s not right and the way he is living his life is not condoned by the government. They whisk him off to Gitmo as he screams about his rights. Our announcer apologizes, simply explaining, “Sorry, dude, they Googled you.”

Definitely a parody of where the world is right now, with plenty of internet spying and tracking going on, but it does have some good points.

It may not be the funniest video, or even a funny one, but like the book 1984, it seems to say, Is this is present day tracking? What’s next? Could it be a Google Toilet? Let’s hope not.