Previews

I installed two new extensions today.

The first was for Firefox.  CoolPreviews is an extension from the folks at Cooliris.  I’ve been using Cooliris for photos for a while and trusted the source.  You see, I was trying to solve a productivity issue.

Here’s the sticker for me.  I use Hootsuite as my Twitter browser and I follow some absolutely awesome people.  As I’m reading their contributions to my learning so often there will be a link to check out.  I’ve gotten into the following habit to optimize my browsing.  I’ll simply hold down the Command Key and click on the link.  That opens the link in a new tab.  I don’t go to it right away.  Instead, I’ll cue up a bunch of tabs and then attack them all for reading later on.  The problem I’ve run into is that I might waste some time reading a resource or page that I have no real interest in.  Now, time wasted on one page isn’t a big deal but over a period of time, it does add up.

That’s where I was excited when I read about CoolPreviews.  Instead of opening a tab and then loading the page, CoolPreviews works by just hovering your mouse over the link.  A window, ala picture in picture on a television, pops up so that you can preview the page before actually opening the tab and loading it.  It seems like a big jump in productivity for me.  Lifehacker and Cnet seemed to think so with their comments on the CoolPreviews page.  "Best extension ever?  Quite Possibly."  Sounds like an order to me.

I figure that if it’s that good on Firefox, it will be good on Google Chrome as well.  Unfortunately, it’s only a Firefox extension at this time.  No problem – I’ll go to the Chrome Store and see if I can find something similar.

It turns out that wips.com has a Chrome extension with a similar name - Cool Previews.  I add it, very pleased with myself.  I’m thinking about how much more productive I’m going to be.  I try them on my own blog (see the image above) and they work as promised.  I’m really excited.

On to Hootsuite. 

Cool Previews on Chrome didn’t want to work.  While it worked with regular webpages, the links in Hootsuite didn’t respond.  I was sad!  I flip over to Firefox.  CoolPreviews works as advertised there.  As I look, I notice that it offers an increase in speed by pinning the preview window for me instead of opening it new each time.  That looks like a nice idea.  I’ll probably check it out.

So, with this little experiment, I’m 1 for 2.  Unless I’m missing something with Cool Previews.  If I am, I’d really appreciate someone setting me on the right direction with it.

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