EricSkiff.com Open Source Everything

3May/071

Blog Fatigue is a real threat to bloggers everywhere, but there is a cure…

Since I started at clipmarks, I've seen our addon as an incredible blogging tool just waiting to happen, with the potential to rival tools like performancing (aka ScribeFire) and Flock. The clipmarks addon makes it super-easy to pull out the best part of any web page and talk about it, so it seemed only natural that we should let you post those clips to your blog as well as to our site.

Launched as part of Clipmarks 2.0, Clip-to-blog makes makes it completely easy to grab pertinent stories, quotes, pictures, and videos, add your two cents, and post it directly to your blog. (watch the demo to see it in action)

I was very excited when we launched clip-to-blog a few months ago, but we hadn't unleashed its full potential until today. As of last night's upload, you can now save multiple blogs with Clipmarks and post to any number of them at once. Anyone with more than one blog knows it can be a pain to keep on top of them. Especially if you've got several different blogs on various topics, keeping the content fresh everywhere can be next to impossible unless you're a full time writer.

Lets say, for example, you've got a blog about marketing, a music podcast where you also blog occasionally, and a personal blog. If you come across something relevant to both your marketing blog and your music show's audience, you can quickly clip the interesting part of the page, add some comments, and post to both of them instantly. Since your blog info is saved with clipmarks, posting to one or many of your blogs is amazingly quick and easy.

Clipmarks.com is also a treasure trove of interesting clips about just about any topic, so if you need to freshen up some of your blogs, you can search for topics that interest you and post great clips that other clippers have found right from there as well.

We blog because we want to write and talk with people about topics that interest us. Unfortunately, a lot of blogging ends up being the minutia of getting pictures uploaded, tweaking html, and stressing about the fact that you haven't updated in ages. Clip-to-blog makes it easy and fun to blog again, and with this update it's an incredible tool for powerbloggers. So, what are you waiting for? Get the addon, add some blogs, and get clip-to-blogging :)

27Feb/071

Clipmarks 2.0 is live!

clipped from youtube.com
Clipmarks 2.0, the project that's been keeping all of us here at clipmarks very very busy is finally live! Check out the video for a quick overview of the new features, but there's a few big ones that I want to highlight here.

We've made some huge improvements to the clipping tool, and you now have much more control over the parts of the page that you clip. You can also clip video (like the one in this clip)!

As awesome as those improvements are, the biggest news to me is that you can now post your clips right to your blog.

On the surface, that sounds like just another nifty feature, but once you wrap your head about how people will use it, it becomes not just the clipmarks clipping tool, but an incredibly powerful blogging tool.

Now, you can easily clip something you find interesting, add some comments, and post it to your blog. When it's that easy, blogging becomes an impulse activity, and conversations can be much more fluid.

It's a very exciting time to be working here, and I'm sure today will bring more excitement and surprises.

The site and addons are still very new, so we could use all the help we can get putting them through their paces.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

  powered by clipmarks

25Oct/061

How to turn off Firefox 2’s scrolling tab bar

After using it for a day, one more thing drove me batty about Firefox 2. With more than a few tabs open, they started scrolling all over the place, making it extremely difficult to jump back and forth between them.

Here's how to turn the tab scrolling feature off:

* Go to about:config
* Filter for the word tab
* set browser:tabs:tabMinWidth to 0

Maybe I'm stuck in my old ways, but I use tabbed browsing a LOT and so far, I don't count these two changes as improvements. I do love the dropdown list of tab names on the right though!

25Oct/060

Easily get rid of the “close tab” buttons in Firefox 2

Okay. I already love Firefox 2 for the integrated spell-checker alone, and as someone who often has way too many tabs open, I appreciate the new little interface at the right of the tab bar for listing them.

ff2_tab That said, I'm perfectly comfortable middle-clicking (pressing down my mouse wheel, for the un-initiated) to open and close tabs, so losing valuable space where the names of my tabs go for lots of little "close tab" buttons was not my favorite change.

Predictably, the smart folks developing Firefox hid this potentially confusing option from most users, but it's still easy to get to if you know what you're doing.

Here's how to turn them off and get that tab-bar real estate back.

* Open a new tab with crtl-t. the address bar, type about:config
ff2_aboutconfig
* There's lots of options here, so type "tab" in the filter bar
ff2_filter
* You might be interested in some of the other options here, but the one that concerns us for the moment is
* browser.tabs.closeButtons
* Edit it and set the value to 0
* Close and reopen Firefox, pop open some tabs, and they should look nice and clean.

The close button still shows up on the tab you're on, but since you're already on that page, you really don't need to read the tab.

For those of you that miss the stationary close-tab X at the right of the tab bar, you can close the current tab with ctrl-w, eliminating the need to hunt around for the red X to close each one.

Don't forget that you can middle click tabs to close them too!

25Oct/060

Clipmarks is a Firefox “Featured Plugin”!

The Making of the Demo Okay, I've been a little quiet about this so far here on the blog, but today I've got an amazing reason to break the silence! I've been spending my Thursdays with the excellent folks at Clipmarks for a few weeks now, helping to brainstorm about how to build and strengthen the Clipmarks community, and how to invite others in.

We call Clipmarks "Bite-size highlights of the web." It's a combination of a tool that lets you "clip" the best parts of web pages and a site (clipmarks.com) where you can share those clips with other clippers. My first experience with clipmarks.com was 30 minutes of non-stop consumption. As I sat there, a seemingly endless number of interesting snippets flowed up my screen. Instead of having to jump out of the experience to check out every cool page, the best part was already highlighted for me and shown right on the page. I was able to just kinda sit back and take it all in.

My second "ohmygodthisiscool" moment happened a few weeks later, when I saw the clipping tool in action for the first time. You really have to see it in action to get why it's so awesome, but selecting the best parts of a page is as simple as clicking on a paragraph and picture or two and clicking save. It's so intuitive and easy that it's addictive.

Which leads to my amazing reason for posting today. A few weeks back, we were listing things that we should be doing to help get Clipmarks out there, and among them was ensuring that the awesome clipping tool (which is available as a Firefox add-on) was featured on Mozilla.com.

I don't know if my suggestion had anything to do with it or if it was simple serendipity but a few weeks later an opportunity arose for Clipmarks to be not only included in the add-ons page, but to be highlighted among the recommended add-ons for Firefox 2.

Clipmarks: Featured Firefox Add-on

Well, Firefox 2 dropped today, and we're right up there with some of the best add-ons available as a recommended add-on. We'll even show up in random rotation on the post-install page! I'm still amazingly excited that this all came together, and it can only lead to good things.

I'm sure I'll talk a lot more about Clipmarks in the coming weeks and months, but right now, I'm just really proud of and happy for the guys there. They work their butts off and really care about (and are part of) their community. I also want to throw a huge thank you out to the amazing Tara Hunt for getting me in touch with Clipmarks in the first place. It's been amazing and no matter where this goes from here I'm extremely happy just for the experience of having worked with them for the past few weeks.

Well, so what are you waiting for? Go install the clipping tool and start highlighting the best bits of the web!

29Nov/050

SVG Examples for Firefox 1.5

firefox 1.5 about page screenshot

Firefox 1.5 is coming out tonight! The best browser gets even better. (Don’t have it yet? Download it here.) Barring some unforseen last minute bug, version 1.5 RC3 will be the same as the release version, but I do recommend waiting for the final 1.5 unless you like to live on the edge like me.

So what’s new about Firefox 1.5? Most notably there’s now a true patch system for automatic updates that work without having to download the whole installer.

Beyond that, you can now drag and drop tabs to reorder them, CSS 2 and 3 support moves steadily along, and most exciting to me, Firefox now includes SVG image support!

That doesn’t mean much to most non-graphic-designers, so I’ve got a page on GlitchNYC to illustrate how SVG differs from traditional web graphics, and how they can help turn you from doodler to artist. Go get yourself Firefox 1.5 and check it out!