Thursday, December 15, 2011

Turn Firefox Into a Social Networking Super-Tool

There are so many social networks and social networking apps out there today that it becomes more inefficient to use them than they originally intended. The Web is where most internet users spend their time, so it makes sense that the browser is the best choice for centralizing social networking activities.

Even if you have moved to an online tool like Hootsuite, the Firefox browser is a powerful framework that can be extended to give you fast access to many popular social networks and social activities like bookmarking, image sharing, status updates and snippets. Below are 10 add-ons, compatible with the latest Firefox release, to help you turn Firefox into a social networking super-tool for increased productivity.

Yoono

yoono

Yoono may be the only add-on you need, depending on how extensively you socialize. It packs all your social networks and instant messaging into an easy-to-use Firefox sidebar. It supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and more. Update your status, see what friends are up to and share to any connected account via the built-in Yoono share bar. It also offers fast one-click access to your profiles.

HootBar (formerly TwitterBar)

hootbar

The HootBar from HootSuite allows you to post messages to Twitter and other social networks from the Firefox address bar and is a decent alternative to Yoono if your activities are focused more on sharing.The beauty of the app is in its simplicity. Appending messages with one of the HootBar commands will post it directly to a network, saving clicks or you can choose from even more posting options.

Facebook Toolbar

facebook-toolbar-6

If you don't need the multiple-network punch of Hootsuite or Yoono, the Facebook toolbar gives you easy access to your Facebook account through a slick toolbar and pop-out sidebar. You can read updates, post to your timeline, chat and more without having to visit the Facebook website.

AddThis

addthis

AddThis helps you instantly share and bookmark anything with one click. Sure, most blogs and Webpages have sharing built in, but this add-on gives you an excellent fail-safe an allows you to choose exactly what to share. Configure AddThis as a toolbar, button, menu or address bar icon and share to over 100 networks.

StumbleUpon

stumbleupon

Now that you have, sharing figured out, you need to quickly find great content! StumbleUpon is a staple in terms of Firefox add-ons, and a must-have if you love surfing the web. Just click the Stumble button and see what you get - a sort of web roulette. It can be personalized for content type and topic and even has built in tracking of any sites you give thumbs-up for easy reference later.

Samfind Bookmarks

samfind2

This is probably the most complete bookmarking add-on ever conceived, supporting hundreds of networks for sharing, social bookmarking and bookmark sync. Add a bookmark quickly via a button or right-click menu option, organize in the sidebar, and consolidate between services such as Delicious, Magnolia, Google, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and more.

Del.icio.us Bookmarks

delicious

Sometimes less is more. If you want to focus your social bookmarking on only one service, this Delicious add-on from the folks that created Yoono is the best option. It streamlines bookmarking to a one-click button that supports tagging and provides a clean tree-view sidebar for sorting or searching.

Socialite

socialite

Socialite provides elegant Firefox integration with Reddit.com and displays a context-sensitive toolbar above pages linked from Reddit, allowing you to vote articles up and down, view comments, and save pages to your profile. Submitting is easy with a one-click lookup button that performs a quick search for duplications and allows you to choose the category or subreddit.

Email This! Bookmarklet

emailthis

While social sharing is a popular addition to most websites, email links tend to be overlooked. Email This! sends the link, title and highlighted content of the page you are viewing and supports a number of clients such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, Thunderbird, Outlook and more.

Read It Later

readitlater

Even after you've streamlined your web browsing and social networking experience, there just isn't enough time in the day. Read It Later stores links to pages you want to come back to later but will probably only visit once, saving your bookmarks from unnecessary clutter. Think of it as a content sharing to-do list.

Final thoughts

With the right add-ons to fit your style of browsing and social networking, you can stay on top of what is going on as it happens, while sharing, researching and socializing at the same time. Just one of these add-ons is a good start to increasing productivity. If you use other add-ons, you have found to be helpful, feel free to tell us about them in your comments!

This is a guest article by Vail Joy who is a long-time writer, designer and copy editor with 15 years of experience in corporate business writing, music journalism and internet media design. When she is not hard at work designing something, she loves writing for Wix.com, the free website builder.

2 comments:

  1. Since you've added Delicious, I think Diigo deserves its place too... it's got more features and has a nice firefox toolbar

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't forget the Firefox add-on "F1" - it enables you to share content with Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter with one click.

    ReplyDelete

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