I love reading. Everyday I read dozens of articles in my RSS Feed Reader. And when I am done I stumble across the web trying to quench my thirst for information. Here are five Firefox extensions that are tailor made to satisfy the thirst for information of power surfers.
1. KwiClick – Get Things Done Quicker
KwiClick is a fascinating extension for Firefox which simplifies your browsing experience by getting rid of unneccesary tabs. KwiClick works via an in-page floating window. Normally, if you want to know more about a term on the page you are currently reading, you would have to open up a new tab and then copy+paste the word in the search bar. With KwiClick you can do this without opening a new tab and without navigating away from the current page. A simple right click is sufficient. KwiClick allows you to instantly lookup a term on google or even fetch the latest twitter search result. It can plot any address (mentioned in the webpage) on a map, play videos while allowing you continue surfing and more. Due to its unique set of features it can be a hard tool to describe in words. Check out the video to learn how it works.
2. Interclue – Know More Before You Click
Interclue is a hyperlink preview service that displays more information about a linked page in a tiny in-page pop-up window. There are actually tons of other similar services. What makes Interclue better is the fact that you can control how it’s triggered. I hate it when windows pop-up out of nowhere as soon as I hover over a link. Interclue can be triggered by clicking a small icon (favicon) displayed next to every hyperlink, or by hovering over it for a specified duration. Interclue is a vastly configurable tool with few dozens of options that allow you to specify exactly what you want from it. Interclue can display a quick summary of the linked page, a snapshot of the page and even fetch useful stats and metadata pertaining to the link. The amount of data Interclue manages to fetch is impressive. Do make it a point to go through all its settings and configure it according to your requirements. Interclue is a wonderful application. I never though I would ever use one of these link preview services. But thanks to Interclue’s awesome execution I have become more than just a fan of this extension.
3. Juice – Do More, Learn More
This extension got Mashable excited enough to claim it may “change the very way you browse the web”. All the functionalities of Juice are provided through a sidebar. Whenever you highlight a term on the webpage, Juice will jump into action and display a related web-page or relevant search results page. What makes Juice work really well is that it can identify the context fairly well. For example if you select a famous a famous person’s name it will bring up Wikipedia, but if you highlight a product Amazon may pop up. For example, when I selected Microsoft I got a quote from CrunchBase but when I selected Cricket I got a summary from Wikipedia. Juice also allows you to instantly search for information through Google and Twitter. Additionally it allows you to save and organise images and videos in its sidebar for later viewing. Additionally, you can also share your discoveries with your friends through Facebook. Juice is terrific extension which impressed me with its intelligence.
4. StumbleUpon – Who Knew Discovering Random Stuff was This Much Fun
This extension needs little introduction, but a list like this would be simply incomplete without a mention of this social networking phenomenon. The concept behind StumbleUpon is simple. Whenever you come across a website you feel like sharing, vote for that website (Thumbs Up) and categorise it using a few tags. The website will be displayed to people with similar interests and the greater the no. of Thumbs Ups the more popular a website will become.
Whenever you feel like discovering something new just hit the Stumble button and a randomly picked website matching your interests will be displayed. I have been using StumbleUpon for years and I am still in as much love with it as I was initially. In fact SU is the very reason I initially started using Firefox.
5. Read It Later – Because Everyone Has a Limit
You may be a power surfer, but even you can’t possibly read everything that you come across. Bookmarking every webpage you are just going to visit once will only increase the clutter. This is where Read It Later comes in. As the name suggests it simply allows you to save links you intend to read later. The save items can be accessed from anywhere via RSS and can be read even when you are offline.