December 10, 2008 |
There’s an interesting Firefox addon I wanted to introduce to everyone today, it is called Feeds in a Box and is intended to help you easier consume all the content you happen to consume online – without interrupting your web browsing experience yet staying informed of everything that matters to you. The addon will bring all your favorite content into one convenient place, no matter what the content is – be it Twitter streams of your friends or your favorite blogs or generalist news sources. What’s more, it will still allow you to interact with the content – share it or reply to tweets same as you do now using multiple applications for every type of content and additional tools for sharing.
Basically the Feeds in a Box addon is intended to collect all your feeds – no matter where they originate – and bring them right into your browser. To be able to do that you will need to download and install the plugin, register with your email account and customize the plugin to work for yourself. The plugin will integrate a new toolbar into your Firefox and this toolbar will show you the latest items from the feeds you are subscribed to – without interrupting your browsing experience.
When it comes to customization of your experience, you are offered a number of options here. First, if you are interested in some particular topics, you can add the search terms and you will be offered relevant items from Google or Yahoo News. You can also add some RSS feeds to enable the plugin to receive your favorite blogs for you. Unfortunately, there is no option for OPML file import for now (I do hope it will be enabled eventually) so it is pretty much limited to the most favorite blogs you really want to keep right in your browser all the time.
But what’s most important is that the plugin will be able to receive messages from Twitter and even from your email account if you so choose. You can even configure the addon to bring you search results for all mentions of a particular term on Twitter (like your name or your brand) – all in the same browser toolbar. Any item that you receive using the Feeds in a Box addon you can additionally share with your friends via Twitter or FriendFeed.
If you are not really enthusiastic about installing yet another plugin to your browser or if you are simply not a fan of Firefox (though I doubt there are such people among our readers), you are invited to try the web-based version of Feeds in a Box that offers the same functionality but is more intended to try it out as having this functionality in a separate browser tab does not make sense to me since the appeal of the addon is to keep an eye on the news as they happen without switching between tabs.
If there is one disadvantage about the plugin, it is that it will consume significant space that should probably be used for your browsing experience. But at the same time if configured right it can be a very valuable source of information for you as you will be able to notice important things as soon as they happen – without having to use any tracking applications in addition to your browser or switching back and force between browser tabs to quickly see when an important news item or a tweet mentioning what you are interested in arrives. All in all, I think that Feeds in a Box can be a great new tool for news addicts that really need to stay on top of everything that happens – preferably in real time. This is exactly what the addon is intended to do and it is certainly a great way to keep an eye on everything that matters – no matter where exactly you are in your browsing adventures.