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Social Media for Firefox

September 28th, 2007 at 4:00am — Rating: Firefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox no pointLink

Ok, the social aspect of the web is definitely going great guns, so we might as well continue with the social media tools.

After reviewing the Shareaholic extension, a friend of mine passed on another great extension that shows that the social networks still work: Social Media for Firefox.

Overview

The Social Media extension takes your current web page you're viewing and pings the four big social media networks (Digg.com, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Deli.cio.us) for the page's existence. If the web page has already been posted by a member of that particular social media, a number will appear as to how many votes it received. If you see a "0!," start your engines and start posting to that site.

Installation

When I installed the Social Media extension for Firefox, the standard restart was in order. After restarting Firefox, the Social Media extension appeared on the status bar (along with all of my other status bar extensions).

Features

The features are visible in two areas:

  1. On the status bar.

  2. On each social media page that lists the most popular, most searched, or any one of the media lists.

The status bar contains the Manual or Automatic area and the four social media indicators when you want statistics about the web page.

If you right-click on the Manual "button", it allows you to set the Social Media extension to Automatic or Manual. As you may have guessed, Automatic will activate the Social Media extension immediately upon visiting a new web page and Manual will only fetch the votes for the web page when you click on the Manual button.

Left-clicking the manual button starts the process of making web calls (or API calls) to each of the media sites to determine how many votes this page received. It may take a couple of seconds, but it's definitely easier than visiting each page and doing this by hand.

Another visual where the Social Media extension is working for you is when you visit one of the four Social Media web sites (Digg.com, StumbleUpon, Deli.cio.us, and Reddit).

If you have the Social Media extension set for Manual, left-clicking the "Manual" area activates the icons. You'll notice a set of icons on the right of the title while showing the other three votes from the other sites. If it's Automatic, you won't need to do a thing. They'll always show up.

Configuration

Unfortunately, there wasn't a configuration for this extension.

Conclusion

For the social-aholics out there, this extension allows you to cross-reference media web sites to see if someone "beat you to the punch" when posting news. Social Media may even allow a cleaner social space. It'll let you know whether a duplicate post was already made.

However, one thing that I've noticed about the extension is that it definitely took up some space on Firefox. I barely had enough room to see the "Loading..." text. One thing I would like to see is a configuration dialog box with options to shrink it down some or even multiple social sites with check boxes to select your favorites.

One example to save space would be to have either this configuration as it is now or JUST the manual/automatic button with a tooltip that displayed all of the Social Media sites inside the tooltip with their scores. This would allow for a smaller real estate on my status bar and adding additional Social Media sites to the tooltip would be extremely easy. The status bar may burst at the seams if any more social sites are added. Hence, the reason for the tooltip or some other space-saving interface.

I'm hoping additional social sites will appear on the list in the future since all the cool sites are building social web APIs even as we speak.

If you visit any of these four media sites and post regularly, then this extension would justify it's place on your status bar.

Come to think of it, since I am on all four social media sites, Social Media receives a 4 out of 5 since I'm still using it.