Tuesday, March 12, 2013

25 Resources for Learning How to Customize Your Browser / Facebook Releases Robust Updates to Its Comments Plugin!



No matter which browser you prefer, there's a plethora of ways to customize the way you surf the Web. There are countless plugins, extensions, toolbars and more. Some of these are easy to install while others require a little more effort.

We've put together a list of some of the best instructional resources for the most popular browsers today, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera and even the still wet behind the ears rookie, Google Chrome.

Internet Explorer

ie Tips
- Shares a ton of quick tips for customizing Internet Explorer.

Official Browser Settings - Overview provides plenty of useful information on all of the settings for IE that most users never touch. Learn what they do and perhaps fix some problems you've been experiencing.

Official IE Developers Blog - Shares new tips and tricks all the time on their official blog for Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer Toolbar - Tutorial covers what you need to know about IE's toolbar.

Top 11 ie Add-ons - Covers a list of cool tools you can add to the IE experience.


Customize Firefox themes
- Provides a large collection of new themes for changing your Firefox look and feel.

Mozilla's Official Way to Customize Firefox - shows undocumented features and ways to customize their browser.

How to Use GreaseMonkey - A must-read if you truly want to take your browsing to the next level.

Office Firefox Add-on Library - Contains an amazing amount of add-ons that you can install with a simple click.

Mashable's List of 30+ Firefox Extensions - Extensions that enhance your browsing experience.


How to Customize Safari Beyond All Reason
- Offers up a bunch of solutions to common annoyances with Safari as well as other cool tips. Funny title too.

How to customize the Safari Toolbar - Covers everything you need to know about the toolbar.

SafariStand - Adds dozens of extra features to the Safari browser.

eHow's How to Customize Safari covers the basics of Safari preferences here.

YouTube video - Shows you how to customize the Safari Toolbar.


Opera Mini - How to install and configure Opera Mini for your mobile device

Official Opera Tutorials - Tutorials on how to customize the Opera browser.

Opera Widgets - Shows the best ways to customize Opera Widgets.

Extending Opera - Demonstrates several ways to get the most out of Opera.

Opera Mail Tutorial - A nice visual tutorial on the Opera Mail system.


Google Chrome Forums
- Has a tremendous amount of ways to trick out your Chrome browser

Digital Streets - Shares some cool tips for customizing your Chrome experience.

Custom Search Engines - Covers how to change the search engines in Chrome

Customized Chrome Themes - Gives you ideas on how to change Chrome's skin.

GreaseMetal - The Chrome equivalent to Firefox's popular GreaseMonkey.

Whether it's just to save time or make your browser more visually appealing, there's an amazing amount of options for any browser that you choose to use.

Facebook released its updated Comments plugin today, which includes a robust set of new features. The social networking site also announced a set of publisher partners that will now integrate the plugin as their commenting platform of choice.

The robust features, which include threaded comments, moderation controls and the ability to sync the comments to a Facebook Page, signal another step toward Facebook's proliferation across the web with its social plugins. Perhaps the most notable feature is the ability to sync comments across a site and a publisher's Facebook Page. This has the potential to increase the discussion and commentary on websites that see a bulk of the discussion take place on its Facebook Page.

The plugin can be seen in action on Facebook's blog, and partner sites include The Economist, SportingNews.com, Redbook and Examiner.

Though the current functionality only allows commenting with a Facebook account, the plugin updates were supposed to include login support for Twitter users as well, but the functionality was not released. The Comments plugin is one of many Facebook plugins that can be integrated into websites off of Facebook - the most popular being the Like button. It will give Facebook further exposure across publisher sites and the web in general. The plugin is available to any publishers who get the code on Facebook's Social Plugins page.

Here's what the key changes and features are for both users and publishers integrating the plugin.

Key User Features

The plugin brings a Facebook-like conversation experience to other websites, including its popular "like" button and the commenter's Facebook profile information, which has the potential to improve and contextualize the commentary.

  • Social Commenting & Context: When users are logged into Facebook, they are able to comment on a site with the Comments plugin immediately. Users are able to get more context about a person by looking at the text next to a commenter's name, which displays any mutual friends, the person’s work title, the person’s age, or the place that a person currently lives - information pulled from the user's Facebook profile. The information, of course, will be based on a user's privacy settings.

  • Best Comments First: Comments are ranked based on your personal network. The most relevant comments from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads will be at the top.

  • Moderation: As users are reading, they can mark comments as spam, or report them as being abusive to clean up any inappropriate comments.

  • Easy Sharing: Users can share comments back to Facebook by clicking “Post to Facebook.” The comment will then be posted to their wall and surfaced for friends on Facebook.

  • Threaded Conversation: This might be the neatest feature. Users can sync comments regardless of where they’re made. Whether a user makes a comment on an article or a post on Facebook Page, the comments will be threaded together in the same conversation so users don’t miss out on anything.

Publisher Features

Publishers will enjoy the ability to synchronize their Facebook Page comments with those made on their site using the Comments plugin. This feature has the potential to bring a fragmented conversation across websites and Facebook itself into one thread that appears in both places. One of the concerns for publishers will likely be addressing how the plugin would affect site performance and page load time because it uses a script.

  • Comment as a Page: Page owners can comment on external sites as their Facebook Page. When a user is logged into Facebook, he or she will see the option to comment as a Page. The comment will be shared on the Page’s wall so users who’ve liked the Page have the opportunity to join the conversation as well.

  • Simply Implementation: The plugin can be added to a site with just one line of code.
    Distribution: Users can easily share comments back to Facebook with a link that directs back to the original article on a publisher's site.

  • Syncing a Page & Website: Publishers are able to syncronize comments made by readers on their site or Facebook page. Regardless of where a comment is made, it will appear in both places. This has the potential to improve the quality of conversations by synchronizing it.

  • Moderation Controls: The moderation includes blacklist controls to the Comments plugin and site admins can control the visibility of a comment by making it private or hiding it completely. Publishers can blacklist users and words.

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