Tag Archives | users

Twitter Search in the Address Bar

Twitter Address Bar SearchThe team at Twitter have developed a very slick new add-on for Firefox that allows you to quickly see what is going on via Twitter in the Firefox address bar.  The obviously named, Twitter Address Bar Search, add-on comes in handy for those of us who need to quickly search and see what is going on via Twitter, the micro-blogging & status sharing network.

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One on One with CEO of Web of Trust

web-of-trust-interview

If I named ten extensions I am the biggest fan of, WOT Web of Trust would be on that exclusive list.

Why?  They provide a great service to the public, helping organize the public to alert itself about risky web site.  The real power in WOT isn’t the tools, it is the users.  It is the perfect mash up of the right tools, at the right time.  Anything that is simple to use, and makes users more aware of the risks around them is a good thing.  With that said, I wanted to talk a little more about the service with one of the people behind the magic, Esa Suurio, the CEO of Web of Trust.

What was the main inspiration behind the WOT Web of Trust add-on for Firefox?

Esa: The company was founded in 2006 by two postgraduate students, Timo Ala-Kleemola and Sami Tolvanen, both M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. Timo and Sami graduated from Tampere University of Technology (Finland) where they had met and studied together.  Sami got the idea while researching reputation systems for his doctoral thesis. He originally planned on using it as a part of an Internet messaging system, but decided to try if it would work for websites too, and it did.

The guys put WOT on the Internet and it started to grow without any marketing, which clearly tells that there is a need for this kind of service.

Where did the name, Web of Trust, come from?

Esa: The name highlights that we are a people-driven service. The nature of Internet is open. No single authority can decide what is good and what is bad – neither has the resources to do so. We wanted to create a common platform for people to share their experience on websites and the services they offer. If unreliable sites were known to people, their lives would be short-lived.

There is no doubt that community is the most important part of your service.  What advice would you have to other add-ons or business looking to build a community around their own product?

Esa: We truly are a community-driven service. For example, when we develop our software, we ask our users what new functions they would like to have added. We read very carefully all the feedback we get from our users and use it as our guideline when we develop Web of Trust further. In our case it’s “product around the community” and not vice versa. The community members need to see that the systems gives them real value – I think that’s what make some communities grow.

We value our members and their contribution – for example, we just gave out Web of Trust Publicity Awards 2008 for users who have helped us to spread the word about WOT.

I’ll say in my personal opinion, I was happy to see you guys come along after an add-on that might be in the same category, SiteAdvisor, kind of got a lot worse after being picked up by McAfee. What is Web of Trust doing to make sure they don’t get too watered down?

Esa: SiteAdvisor is a great service and they are fighting on the same side with us. What makes Web of Trust different is the fact that our website ratings are based mainly on ratings coming from our users. This enables us to be faster and more accurate than computerized testing services. Internet fraud can often be only detected by a human person. Lets take an example: One of the latest trend of security threats against Internet users employs software products which pretend to be security tools that help you remove spyware or viruses. These fake anti-malware products scare users by giving false alarms and then try to deceive users into paying for removal of non-existing malware.

When these threats started to emerge last year, WOT was the first system to warn users about them, thanks to our active users who rated these sites. The quality of WOT website ratings has improved as our community has grown, so we definitely are on the right track.

Are you guys working on any spin-off or side projects right now or is your main focus still on Web of Trust.

Web of Trust is our main focus. There is so much to do. We are certainly not going to stop here – the journey has just begun.

Firefox Got Your Back

I Got Your Back!No, I’m not talking browser ghetto slang, I am talking about the new project I found out about on Spread Firefox. It is a pretty neat concept. Here is how they put it, as I am afraid my explanation of it might confuse some.

Our page is set-up so that users can come and ‘fill in’ the Firefox logo by claiming a pixel. They can use their spot on the logo to express themselves and to shoutout to the world about anyone who has got their back.

Join in on the fun! I’d like nothing more than to bring these people a few more pixels in. Also see if you can find me (I’m the guy with the coconut and hammer) – and include as the guy that “told you” about Firefox. Just type in Mitch.

Watch Out for that Extension!

DartThe folks over at Computer World have put together a list of Firefox extensions that you should avoid. Now I’ll say it from the start, I don’t agree with many of the choices they have on the list. Some like FasterFox (which for me has never improved my speed) I can understand. They don’t want you using Greasemonkey? AdBlock? NoScript? Those I can’t agree with too much.

Instead of calling it a list of extensions to stay away from, maybe they should rename the article “Extensions That Non-Power Users Should Stay Away From”. Then again, if your a power user – what Computer World says probably is not going to change your mind.

+ Check Out the Full List of Extensions You Should Avoid!

20 Quality Greasemonkey Scripts

It has been a while since I went out and found a lot of useful Greasemonkey scripts. I was just about to do it myself here – but why go through all that testing when somebody has already beaten me to the punch and done it well?

Couple of months back I had covered Greasemonkey, a powerful and all-favorite firefox extension. Now I am taking it further and want to present some of the coolest greasemonkey addons(aka scripts) out there letting you do crazy things such as: downloading apple trailers and clips from popular video sites(Youtube, GoogleVideo….etc), integrating google reader into gmail, adding mirror links to digg listings and etc… No-technical knowledge required, guaranteed.

+ Check Out the Full List of 20 Great Greasemonkey Scripts!

Greasemonkey Help Need Help? Be sure to check out the Beginner’s Guide to Greasemonkey!

eBay Feedback Tool

Need another eBay helper? Feedbackfox helps you find out a little more information about that guy who owns the Gumby blow up doll that you have been searching for since your childhood.

A sidebar integrated feedback filter for ebay users. Input a user name and get a colored list with up to 5000 feedback comments (by enter button ‘GO!’) or alternatively get only the positive, neutral, negative or withdrawn feedback. In this case Feedbackfox gets all comments that are available for the last 12 months.

+ Learn More About the Feedbackfox Extension for Firefox!