Firefox only (Windows/Mac/Linux): Firefox extension SimilarWeb is a robust user-driven site suggestion and rating service. A single click from any site yields a list of related sites and data on other surfers' impressions. Unlike previously reviewed Youlicit—also a user driven site-suggestion service—SimilarWeb allows you use the extension interface for both browsing and voting instead of being limited to a web-based directory. Once you have the extension installed, using it is as simple as clicking on the SW icon beside the address bar. You can rearrange the suggested order of sites, submit new sites, and vote a suggested site up or down based on relevance. The database is surprisingly extensive—thanks presumably to a very active user base—and not a single site I tested was devoid of relevant suggestions. The SimilarWeb interface can be run from a sidebar if you desire, but it should be noted that the thumbnail previews of the suggested sites displayed there do slow your browsing down. If a 2-3 second lag is unacceptable, stick to using it as a toolbar helper. SimilarWeb is free and works wherever Firefox does.
Tagged With web surfing
Web site Vanishd hides your inappropriate web browsing by overlaying a legitimate page on top of the site you actually want to browse. Once it's started, a small window follows your mouse that looks through the top page and into the page you actually want to browse. You can adjust the size of this window with your mouse's scrollwheel, and switch the control between moving the window and interacting with the site. You can even choose what you want the document on top to look like, and fake Word, Excel, and PowerPoint templates are available. If you stick with a web site on top, you can even interact with both layers. It's weird, we know, and it's probably not all that effective unless no one's paying close attention, but it's a fun idea. Vanishd
It's nothing that Firefox 3 can't do by itself, but free webapp SiteReloader makes monitoring multiple pages for new content—like, say, during a certain nation's presidential debates—easy on any browser. Type or paste in the address, choose a refresh rate, and SiteReloader opens your site in a new window, piping refresh requests out to it every so often. The app is free to use, but signing in lets you save a list of sites and refresh times. For now, it's a good bookmark for Internet Explorer 7, Google Chrome, and other browsers without an auto-refresh tool.
Want to get more than just behind on your work from idly browsing the web? The Simple Dollar weblog shares a few tips for getting both personal and professional value from your "wasted" web time. The post suggests several different methods for getting more from your browsing, most of which revolve around participating on the web rather than just consuming—whether that involves social bookmarking, commenting and sharing your knowledge, or befriending others with similar interests. If you're a pro at squeezing value out of your web surfing (hey, you read Lifehacker, right?), let's hear your tips in the comments. How to Get Personal and Professional Value from Idle Web Surfing
Web surfing game PMOG (The Passively Multiplayer Online Game) just opened up user registrations to the public. PMOG, a social surfing game, lets you rack up points and leave gifts and traps for your friends on web pages as you surf. Install the PMOG Firefox extension and make your surfing, ahem, more (virtually) productive by earning points. Then use your points to buy things like mines, treasure, and armour that you can leave as gifts or traps for your friends as they land on various web pages. See PMOG in action after the jump.
Blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick offers seven tips for making the most of your RSS reader, including a few unconventional ideas about feed volume. Kirkpatrick writes: I'm a big believer in subscribing to anything that looks of interest. Read what you can and don't worry about the rest. The chances that you'll see something worthwhile in a feed are far, far higher if you've subscribed to it than they would have been if you hadn't... I don't know why people feel obligated to read every item in every feed they've subscribed to. Get over that and you'll already be a far happier person.It may run counter to our common suggestion that you prune your feed subscriptions, but if you're willing to let go of the urge to read every single item, you could find yourself surrounded by wonderful content. Seven Tips for Making the Most of Your RSS Reader
Even though that report is due by the end of the day, you just spend the last two hours watching Family Guy YouTube clips because you just can't help yourself. If you regularly find yourself clicking around Facebook, keyboard covered in drool, when you're supposed to be getting stuff done&mdashh;or better, going outside—it's time to break out the big guns. Restrained web surfing feels like an impossible feat for rabid infovores, but a Firefox extension called LeechBlock can help. Here's how you can save yourself from quicksand web destinations at certain times of the day with LeechBlock.
You've just read about a cool new web app or informative article on Digg, Slashdot, or some other link-heavy site, so you hit the link and ... minutes later, you're still hitting refresh and seeing 404 errors. Just before you give up, try loading the site in Coral Cache, a free service that uses a distributed server network to keep content from being overwhelmed—i.e. "Slashdotted" or, as is sometimes the case, suffering from the "Lifehacker effect." No software or bookmarklet necessary, just add ".nyud.net" to the end of any URL. You may get a slower load and occasional formatting wonkiness, but it's often more up-to-date than the Google Cache version, and a helpful work-around.
Firefox only (Windows/Mac/Linux): The hideBad Firefox extension instantly saves and closes your current browsing session and opens your default homepage with the stroke of a key. Let's see, why might someone want to use this? Well, since the holidays are around the corner, let's say you're doing a little online shopping and that special someone walks in on you. Hit the shortcut, hide the session, and they'll never be the wiser. Now just replace shopping with porn surfing and special someone with anyone and we've probably painted a more realistic picture of how hideBad will likely be used. Restored sessions can be password protected, and on activation hideBad can also clear your history and other incriminating tidbits. Naughty! hideBad is free, works wherever Firefox does. Use in conjunction with Stealther and you've got the ultimate porn mode for Firefox.