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Supercharging Summize Searches in Firefox and Flock

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There are several ways you can integrate the superior Twitter search engine Summize into Firefox or Flock, turning your browser into a very efficient Twitter research tool. In this post I discuss these three:

  • adding the Summize search plug-in
  • creating a Summize quick search command
  • using the SmartSearch add-on to perform in-context queries

Summize Search Plug-in

Add Summize to your Firefox search bar by clicking on the “Install Search Plugin” link on the Summize home page:

Summize Search Plugin

The search plugin is available for use immediately after installing. To enter a Summize query, put cursor focus on the search bar with your mouse or press the Ctrl-K keyboard shortcut. Then type your query as usual and press Enter.

Summize Quick Searches
Besides performing searches from the search bar, Firefox also offers the browser address bar to execute search commands. It comes in handy if for some reason you’d rather not change search engines from your search bar. The functionality to search from the browser address bar is generally called Quick Search. In our case you would type in something like “s Obama”, press Enter and then, because of a keyword shortcut command that points to Summize, a query is run automatically to find tweets about Obama. The Quick Search command you can create by following the step-by-step instructions is also useful for in-context searching, which I describe in the section Summize Smart Searches.

Selecting the Add Keyword Search command

The Summize Quick Search command is universal and only needs to be created once. Luckily, Firefox makes this creation process a piece of cake: right-click with your mouse in the Summize search input box on any Summize web page and select “Add a Keyword for this Search…” from the context menu.

Now you may try your newly created Quick Search command by carrying out a query from the address bar: Type “s [keywords]” without the double quotes and press Enter.

Summize Smart Searches
With a few simple steps you can perform a Summize search for any word on any web page displayed in Firefox. The steps to create the Summize Quick Search command that I described in the previous section are required to make this Smart Searching functionality work. First, install the SmartSearch Firefox add-on.

Note that the default, version 3.10, is meant to be used with Firefox 3 beta. Users of older versions of Firefox should install version 3.7, which you can find here: SmartSearch add-on for Firefox 2.

Restart your browser.

Next, open the SmartSearch Settings dialog box and put a check mark in the option Show “Search Web for …” item

Next right-click or select any word(s) that you want to search for on Summize, and select Search for [keyword] on…“, then select @Summize. The following screenshot shows a fun recursive search right from my WordPress editor window, looking for tweets about Summize:

This nifty SmartSearch in-context search functionality works immediately by right-clicking individual words, without the need to select a word with your mouse first. Alternatively select multiple consecutive words, right-click on the selection, and follow the same steps.

My compliments to Ben Goodger and Chris Povlrk for providing the excellent SmartSearch add-on, and of course to the Summize folks (@abdur, @gregpass, @ericcj, @jayvirdy), who in my opinion really created even more than the Google of Twitter. Chapeau bas!

Written by CleverClogs

May 10th, 2008 at 3:03 pm