Turn Firefox Into A Social Media Machine

firefox Most of us don’t think of our browser as a social media tool. I can assure you that after going through this list of Firefox plugins, you’ll take it more seriously and if you’re running another browser, you might want to take this one for a ride.

What’s beautiful about Firefox, besides the underdog story behind it, is that it’s open source and it provides with an insane number of tools developed by programmers all over the world allowing you to personalize your experience.

One more thing I will mention before starting this list is that I’m not suggesting in any way that you go and download a dozen of plugins, see what works better for you and stick with a few. Here we go:

1. Yoono

Yoono is a powerful tool that sits on your browser as a sidebar and you can turn on and off as desired. You can access and manage your activity on different networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr as well as IM services like Google Talk or AIM.

yoono

2. Bit.ly Sidebar

The Bit.ly sidebar simply rocks (I’ll admit I’m a big fan of Bit.ly…). You can trigger the sidebar from any website and share content on Twitter without ever visiting the actual application or Bit.ly itself. It also shows you a quick snapshot of the stats if the piece of content has been previously shared by other Bit.ly users and gives you the option to post on Facebook or email it.

3. Subscribe with UberVU

UberVU is an application that helps you track conversations on different networks. It is a great listening tool that everyone should include as part of a social media strategy. The team at UberVU has recently launched this bookmarlet that gives you a quick view of the reactions that post has generated and lets you subscribe and receive alerts via email. Use it to track your own content and be on top of the conversation.

ubervu

4. AddThis or ShareThis

You have seen the ShareThis or AddThis buttons all over but you can also install the plugins to add them on your browser with the same functionality. Just another comfortable way of sharing content to several platforms without leaving the site.

5. DiggBar

Of course if you’re a Digg user, the toolbar makes it easy to digg content by just clicking the button. The latest version displays the count and button on the URL bar to save space but if you find it annoying you can turn it on and off.

6. StumbleUpon Toolbar

Similar to Digg but with its own toolbar on the browser, I find the StumbleUpon plugin every useful to save content I want to read later or just bookmark websites. It is also great to submit your own content. You can “stumble” without going to the site, a feature that I don’t use much to be honest.

7. Share on Posterous

One of my favorites since I use Posterous to share content from other sources (Awesomeness Around The Web). The “Share on Posterous” plugin opens a little window on the side of the browser and grabs the information displayed on the page including different types of media formats such as photography, also giving you the option to edit and add your own comment. There is also a similar plugin if you prefer Tumblr.

posterous

8. Read Later (InstaPaper)

InstaPaper is as simple as its tagline, “A simple tool to save web pages for reading later”, one click (truly just one step) to bookmark content to comeback later. What I love about it is that it eliminates the clutter around the content for a minimalistic approach to reading.

9. Facebook Toolbar

The easiest way of not going to the actual site, while most of the options are a navigation you can also share content and update your status from the toolbar.

facebook toolbar

10. Hootlet

From HootSuite, it not only offers sharing to several Twitter accounts, Facebook profile, fan pages and LinkedIn but you can also schedule your posts without going to the platform. Quick and painless.

11. Facebook Sidebar Chat

This is something that you need to setup by yourself on Firefox since it’s not a plugin, it takes the Facebook chat from its original location to the sidebar, a good way of leaving the site while keeping the chat alive. If you are interested in the setup, you can get a little step-by-step screencast here.

Facebook Chat

12. Firebug

Among other things, I use Firebug to measure blog loading times, after all your blog is an essential part of your social media and loading times can really affect your performance. The cool thing about it is that you can get an easy-to-read breakdown of how long each single item on the page is taking to load so you can improve. For example, how the ShareThis plugin takes forever and it’s about to get replaced on this blog… sorry.

13. Delicious

An oldie but still useful. Again, painless bookmarking. Use it also to bookmark your own content, Delicious has proven to be a good source of traffic back to your blog.

14. TwitterBar

The TwitterBar provides you with a quick option to send a Tweet, it sits in the address bar. Just type and click the icon.

twitterbar

15. WiseStamp

WiseStamp is a plugin to help you create a nice email signature including icons to your Social Networks and even a RSS feed that displays a link to your latest blog post. It works with web-based email clients like Gmail.

WiseStamp

Share Your Favorite Plugins…

There are plenty of tools out there that you can implement to your Firefox browser and I have included a few here, now you can share your favorite ones in the comments section of this post. Tell us about your experience and how you use them…

Share

  • voogel

    Great article and excellent finds!

    I have two more tools which makes it easier to post web content to your favourite social networks: Ping.fm and Pixelpipe.

    Ping.fm offers a bookmarklet called Ping this! http://bit.ly/bQJxcY
    Drag the bookmarklet to your browser's bookmark toolbar and instantly post links.

    Pixelpipe offers an Firefox Add-on called Pixelpipe Media Uploader. http://bit.ly/d0V1uf
    It will upload pictures, video, audio and get your content posted to your favorite social network, blog and photo/video services with an easy drag-and-drop action.

  • zachphilip

    great information! this was like a real handy tip. i also liked reading up http://bit.ly/aQxde8 which is a quick and effective read.

  • Hey, both great additions. Thanks for also sharing the links.

  • Thank you Zach, I'm glad you found it useful. Also thanks for the good resource.

  • My two favourite add ons are: The Stumbler toolbar and the Digg toolbar. These are the only ones that I have used up to this point but now I have the twitter and share this toolbar. Thanks for sharing these great add-ons!

  • Hi Francisco,
    Thanks for the great article and for our pick
    You can find many extra tips and signature samples here:
    http://wisestamp.com/goodies
    http://www.wisestamp.com/get-more-feed-ideas

  • Thanks for stopping by guys, good listening…

  • Nice roundup! I'd also recommend Zemanta as a cool – and instant – way of finding and adding relevant links and pictures to add to your blog posts.

  • Thank you Alex, you're right, I'm not currently using Zemanta but it is a great tool.

  • mbloksma

    Great collection! Maybe these two can make it even better!

    Today I stumbled upon this one: TBuzz – http://tbuzz.arc90.com/
    This is a bookmarklet that let's you twitter webpage, but you can also directly see who is talking about that webpage on Twitter.

    From the same makers there's Readablitiy- http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/. It blanks out everything on a webpage except for the text and some images. This text version of the page is mailable and printable.

  • Hey Martijn,

    Yeah, I'm familiar with Readability. TBuzz I've never tried. I just saw the demo, it looks like a combination of the Bit.ly sidebar with the Share on Posterous… thanks for suggesting it!

  • Great list

    Google Reader subscribe button is great for picking up new blogs
    Boxee bookmarklet is awesome for saving videos then watching them on your TV

  • martinrayvaughan

    As always, good stuff! A bit off topic, but it's on my mind: I can't decide if Disqus is worth it! I'm sure you have a reason…also, I was about to pull the trigger and it said that the latest Disqus has NOT been tested on my (brand new) version of WordPress. Should that concern me? Are you a big believer in Disqus?
    Again, sorry off topic!
    M.

  • Yep, great addition Chris, both of them.

    Thank you!

  • Go ahead and install. I said this before, commenting systems like Disqus and IntenseDebate make comments universal, take 'em out of your blog.

    It is probably one of my favorite tools, with its occasional issues…

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  • Dude…this is awesome man! I especially like the Yoono plugin. How did you get all these cool applications for FireFox? Nice job brotha!

  • Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!