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20 Useful Bookmarklets

20 Useful Bookmarklets

Bookmark

    Bookmarklets are useful tools. Simply put, they’re bookmarked links you keep in your browser toolbar that perform a useful function when you click on them. There are about half a million of the things out there—far too many to fit in any bookmark toolbar! Let’s take a look at twenty of the most useful bookmarklets out there.

    To “install” a bookmarklet, drag the link presented on the bookmarklet’s Web site to your bookmarks toolbar, and you’re done.

    1. WordPress Bookmarklet

    With the release of WordPress 2.6, the team at WordPress reinstated the “Press This” bookmarklet—this time even more powerful, with Tumblr-like capabilities. Want to throw a YouTube video or Flickr pic into your blog real quick? This is the bookmarklet for you. You’ll find it on your WordPress “New Post” page to the right of the post editor.

    2. del.icio.us Bookmarklet

    If you want to save a link to your del.icio.us account without adding yet another extension to your browser, check out the del.icio.us bookmarklets available here. There’s a Post to del.icio.us bookmarklet and one for viewing your favorites quickly.

    3. Password Generator Bookmarklet

    If you have trouble coming up with secure passwords all the time, save some time and energy by installing this bookmarklet. It combines the domain name of the site you need a password for with your “master password” so you only ever need to remember one password—minus the security concerns. You can get it here.

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    4. Microformats Bookmarklet

    If your organization uses some sort of intranet project management that always has hCard or hCalendar (.vcf or .ics files) for download, or you frequent other sites that use these formats, the Microformats Bookmarklet will check through the page you’re on and find them for you. It makes keeping up with contacts and calendars easy. You can get it here.

    5. Facebook Bookmarklet

    If you’re an avid Facebook user and frequently share interesting Web sites using your Facebook account, this bookmarklet lets you do it even faster and without returning to the Facebook site itself. You can get it here.

    6. Reddit Bookmarklet

    The Reddit Bookmarklet makes it easier for redditors to not only submit interesting Web sites, but cast “like” or “dislike” votes for sites that have already been submitted. There’s also a “Serendipity” bookmarklet that’ll take you to a random site through Reddit. You can get it here.

    7. Google Translate Bookmarklet

    Constantly find yourself on pages written in French or Italian, but have no idea how to read any language but English? Your surfing habits may be baffling, but there’s something to make your life easier here.

    8. FriendFeed Bookmarklet

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    Saving interesting tidbits to FriendFeed is easy and incredibly pleasant with this excellent bookmarklet. It can grab an image from the page you’re saving if you’re into visuals. Grab it here.

    9. TweetBurner Bookmarklet

    Twitter users will love this bookmarklet. It can be a pain in the backside to get a regular link converted into a shorter URL without a bookmarklet or a desktop client with the capability built in—but with this installed, it has never been easier. It’s on the front page to the left here.

    10. ToRead Bookmarklet

    Once you enter your email address on this bookmarklet’s homepage, you’ll be able to quickly send pages you wish to look at again and read in depth later on to your email account for easy access. Check it out here.

    11. OnlyWire Bookmarklet

    If you’re really into social bookmarking and have a hundred different bookmarklets cluttering your toolbar, this bookmarklet that supports many of the most popular sites may help you simplify things a bit and get pages bookmarked quicker. Get it here.

    12. XRAY Bookmarklet

    Web designers will find this bookmarklet useful. It’ll show you the box model for CSS elements on any page along with a whole lot of information about the element you’re looking at. Get it here.

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    13. Rollyo Bookmarklet

    Sick of hunting and pecking through each site you visit to find a well-hidden search field? Rollyo lets you search any site you visit just by clicking the bookmarklet, and allows you to save frequently visited sites into a “searchroll” so you can search your favorites anywhere. Take a look at Rollyo here.

    14. RatesFX Bookmarklet

    Do you need to convert figures in one currency to another frequently? I’m always converting figures in US dollars to Australian (the results aren’t as pleasant as they once were!), so a bookmarklet like this is a huge timesaver. Try it out here.

    15. Google Reader Bookmarklet

    This Google Reader bookmarklet will help you subscribe to new blogs, or any site with an RSS feed, as you surf the web. Check it out here.

    16. Newsgator Bookmarklet

    Much like the Google Reader bookmarklet, the Newsgator bookmarklet will allow you to subscribe to RSS feeds under your Newsgator account. I love this because it means I can add a feed without opening NetNewsWire, which can take some time. If you’re using a Newsgator account in any compatible feed reader and getting sick of opening the app just to add a new feed, this is the solution for you. Find out how to install it here.

    17. Layout Grid Bookmarklet

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    Another one for designers: this bookmarklet will overlay a layout grid on any Web site. Particularly useful if you’re developing your own and want to see how it’s matching up to your grid calculations in a browser without adding the grid as a background image. Check it out here.

    18. View Passwords Bookmarklet

    Whenever I login to GoDaddy I get paranoid that one small typo in my password will lock me out for the rest of the day—this has happened more times than I can count. Here’s a typo that soothes this paranoia and allows you to see your passwords as you type them. No more asterisks! Get it here (also offers a handy Remember Passwords bookmarklet that fixes those pesky sites that refuse to remember them for you).

    19. Digg Submit Bookmarklet

    If you’re a Digger, this bookmarklet might be useful for you—click it to start the submission process for the page you’re currently on. This is an unofficial bookmarklet. Get it here.

    20. Spreeder Bookmarklet

    Want to practice speed reading, but find the text that comes with your speed reading app incredibly boring? The Spreeder bookmarklet lets you paste a block of text into a dialogue box, which is then displayed to you in rapid-fire, word by word. Check it out here.

    Do you have a favorite bookmarklet that I haven’t listed here? Let us know about it in the comments section!

    More by this author

    Joel Falconer

    Editor, content marketer, product manager and writer with 12+ years of experience in the startup, design and tech digital media industries.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

    How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

    The hardest part of socializing, for many people, is how to start a conversation. However, it is a big mistake to go about life not making the first move and waiting for someone else to do it [in conversation or anything].

    This isn’t to say you must always be the first in everything or initiate a conversation with everyone you see. What should be said, though, is once you get good at starting conversations, a lot of other things will progress in the way you want; such as networking and your love life.

    Benefits of Initiating a Conversation

    First thing is you should acknowledge why it is a good thing to be able to initiate conversations with strangers or people who you don’t know well:

    • You’re not a loner with nothing to do.
    • You look more approachable if you are comfortable approaching others.
    • Meeting new people means developing a network of friends or peers which leads to more knowledge and experiences.

    You can only learn so much alone, and I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of learning from others. Being able to distinguish the ‘good from bad’ amongst a group of people will help in building a suitable network, or making a fun night.

    All people are good in their own way. Being able to have a good time with anybody is a worthy trait and something to discuss another time. However, if you have a specific purpose while in social situations, you may want to stick with people who are suitable.

    This means distinguishing between people who might suit you and your ‘purpose’ from those who probably won’t. This can require some people-judging, which I am generally very opposed to. However, this does make approaching people all the more easier.

    It helps to motivate the conversation if you really want to know this person. Also, you’ll find your circle of friends and peers grows to something you really like and enjoy.

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    The Rules

    I don’t have many rules in this life, for conversation or anything; but when it comes to approaching strangers, there are a few I’d like used.

    1. Be polite. Within context, don’t be a creepy, arrogant loudmouth or anything. Acknowledge that you are in the company of strangers and don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. First impressions mean something.
    2. Keep it light. Don’t launch into a heartfelt rant or a story of tragedy. We’re out to have fun.
    3. Don’t be a prude. This just means relax. This isn’t a science and conversation isn’t a fine art. Talk to people like you’re already friends.
    4. Be honest. Be yourself. People can tell.

    Who To Talk To?

    I’m of the ilk that likes to talk to everyone and anyone. Everyone has a story and good personalities. Some are harder to get to than others, but if you’re on a people-finding excursion, like I usually am, then everyone is pretty much fair game.

    That said, if you’re out at a function and you want to build a network of people in your niche, you will want to distinguish those people from the others. Find the ‘leaders’ in a group of people or ask around for what you’re looking for.

    In a more general environment, like at a bar, you will want to do the same sort of thing. Acknowledge what you actually want and try to distinguish suitable people. Once you find someone, or a group of people, that you want to meet and talk to, hop to it.

    Think of a few things you might have in common. What did you notice about their dress sense?

    Building Confidence

    The most important part of initiating conversation is, arguably, having confidence. It should be obvious that without any amount of self-esteem you will struggle. Having confidence in yourself and who you are makes this job very easy.

    If you find yourself doubting your worth, or how interesting you are, make a few mental notes of why you are interesting and worth talking to. There is no question you are. You just have to realize that.

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    What do I do? What is interesting about it? What are my strong points and what are my weak ones? Confident people succeed because they play on their strengths.

    Across the Room Rapport

    This is rapport building without talking. It’s as simple as reciprocated eye contact and smiles etc. Acknowledging someone else’s presence before approaching them goes a long way to making introductions easier. You are instantly no longer just a random person.

    In my other article How Not To Suck At Socializing, there are things you can do to make yourself appear approachable. This doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to flock to you. You’ll still probably need to initiate conversations.

    People notice other people who are having a blast. If you’re that person, someone will acknowledge it and will make the ‘across the room rapport’ building a breeze. If you’re that person that is getting along great with their present company, others will want to talk to you. This will make your approach more comfortable for both parties.

    The Approach

    When it comes to being social, the less analytical and formulaic you are the better. Try not to map out your every move and plan too much. Although we are talking about how to initiate conversation, these are really only tips. When it comes to the approach, though, there are some things you should keep in mind.

    Different situations call for different approaches. Formal situations call for something more formal and relaxed ones should be relaxed.

    At a work function, for instance, be a little formal and introduce yourself. People will want to know who you are and what you do right away. This isn’t to say you should only talk about work, but an introduction and handshake is appropriate.

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    If you’re at a bar, then things are very different and you should be much more open to unstructured introductions. Personally, I don’t like the idea of walking directly to someone to talk to them. It’s too direct. I like the sense of randomness that comes with meeting new people.

    However, if there is rapport already established, go for it. If not, take a wander, buy a drink and be aware of where people are. If there is someone you would like to talk to, make yourself available and not sit all night etc.

    When someone is alone and looks bored, do them a favor and approach them. No matter how bad the conversation might get, they should at least appreciate the company and friendliness.

    Briefly, Approaching Groups

    When integrating with an established group conversation, there is really one thing to know. That is to establish the ‘leader’ and introduce yourself to them. I mentioned that before, but here is how and why.

    The why is the leader of a group conversation is probably the more social and outgoing. They will more readily accept your introduction and then introduce you to the rest of the group. This hierarchy in a group conversation is much more prevalent in formal situations where one person is leading the conversation.

    A group of friends out for the night is much more difficult to crack. This may even be another topic for discussion, but one thing I know that works is initiating conversation with a ‘stray’. It sounds predatorial, but it works.

    More often than not, this occurs without intention. But if you do really want to get into a group of friends, your best bet is approaching one of them while they are away from the group and being invited into the group.

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    It is possible, like everything, to approach a group outright and join them. However, this is almost an art and requires another specific post.

    Topics Of Conversation

    Other than confidence, the next thing people who have trouble initiating conversations lack is conversation! So here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:

    • Small talk sucks. It’s boring and a lot of people already begin to zone out when questions like, “What do you do?” or “What’s with this weather?” come up. Just skip it.
    • Everything is fair game. If you are in the company of someone and a thought strikes you, share it. “This drink is garbage! What are you drinking?” “Where did you get that outfit?”
    • Opinions matter. This is any easy way to hit the ground running in conversation. Everyone has one, and when you share yours, another will reveal itself. The great thing about this line of thought is that you are instantly learning about the other person and what they like, dislike etc.
    • Environment. The place you’re in is full of things to comment on. The DJ, band, fashions; start talking about what you see.
    • Current events. Unless it’s something accessible or light-hearted, forget it. Don’t launch into your opinion on the war or politics. If your town has recently hosted a festival, ask what they think about it.

    Exiting Conversation

    Although I’d like to write a full post on exiting strategies for conversations you don’t want to be in, here are some tips:

    • The first thing is don’t stay in a conversation you’re not interested in. It’ll show and will be no fun for anyone.
    • Be polite and excuse yourself. You’re probably out with friends, go back to them.  Or buy a drink. Most people will probably want to finish the conversation as much as you.

    Likewise, you could start another conversation.

    If you’d like to learn more tips about starting a conversation, this guide maybe useful for you: How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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