As a professional writer, I know how quickly writing for the web can overwhelm you. These six Google Chrome extensions may make it just a little easier for you to get your writing done and enjoy it in the process. All of them work in Chrome and Chromium on all operating systems.
You probably love the functionality of Google Reader but may not love the way it looks. If you happen to be one of those people who likes a little eye candy in the morning news, Feedly is just what you need.
Feedly digests all of your feeds from Google Reader and displays them in a news magazine format. It will highlight your favorite feeds and make it easier to assign categories and priorities to your most important sources of information, something critical for web writers.
Beyond the eye candy, Feedly also has added functionality, such as easy sharing and searching for new and interesting feeds. You can also optionally connect it to Twitter.
As the name implies, Shareholic is for those people addicted to sharing, and if you are a writer, much of what you share may be your own work. That means you need to make sure you can reach everyone quickly and easily.
Shareholic is just a button with a drop-down menu, but when you click on any of the sharing icons, it will automatically share whatever page you are currently viewing. It also has a shortened URL feature that uses your favorite URL-shortening service.
Shareholic options include just about every social networking, email, bookmarking, blogging, and social news site you can imagine. The good part is that you only need to choose the ones you use and keep the rest hidden.
ScribeFire has long been a Firefox favorite for bloggers, and now it is available for Google Chrome. If you do a lot of writing on the web and maybe even make money doing it, you probably have accounts on multiple blog sites. Rather than having to log into each one and write your posts there, ScribeFire lets you do it from a single interface, one that opens directly in your browser.
It comes with a fully functional WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor that lets you format your document, add links and images, and also optionally edit the source code. You can save post drafts right on your computer, add tags and categories from your blogs online list, and edit existing published posts.
ScribeFire supports WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Windows Live Spaces, Tumblr, and any other blog that uses MetaWeblog or MoveableType APIs.
Twitter Watch does just what it says, allow you to watch Twitter for the tweets you need. Although the people you follow may be very useful in providing links to content, it might not always be the content you need for your writing. With Twitter Watch, you can look for tweets on any topic you want without having to follow people who may only tweet once about that topic.
Twitter Watch even supports tabs so you can watch multiple topics at once. You can also send tweets with Twitter Watch, although it is clearly not setup to replace your normal micro-blogging app. The icon in the top right of your browser will show the current number of new tweets on the topic you select.
It is plain, simple, and awesome. Chrome Notepad is a little icon in the top right of the Chrome toolbar that opens a simple text box when you click on it. That may not sound too revolutionary, but for a writer, making quick notes is so very important.
There are plenty of note-taking apps on the web, for your desktop, and even other extensions for Chrome, but this one syncs with your other Chrome browsers. In other words, if you have Google Chrome installed on your desktop and your laptop, all you have to do is turn on Googles bookmark syncing, and you will also have synced notes. Other extensions may offer more features, but the syncing feature is the one most mobile writers need.
Tabbed browsing revolutionized the way we surf the web. Few people would dare think of having 20 browser windows open at once, but some may not even think twice about opening 20 tabs. By the time you figure out which tabs you have and need, you could have easily closed them all and started over again.
TooManyTabs is a Chrome extension that organizes your tabs and does it beautifully. Clicking the icon brings up a popup with screenshots of all your currently open tabs. You can even assign a shortcut key to quickly open the interface (CTRL+~ by default). TooManyTabs allows you to sort your tabs alphabetically, by web address, or by creation time. You can even drag tabs you do not need at the moment into the suspend tabs sidebar, giving you the option to reopen them later. Finally, if you are a true tab junkie, TooManyTabs has a search feature, allowing you to find the exact tab you need.
Tavis J. Hampton is a librarian and writer with a decade of experience in information technology, web hosting, and Linux system administration. His freelance services include writing, editing, tech training, and information architecture. He knows web experts at dedicated host 34SP.com who have been known to go tab crazy from time to time...