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Top 5 Chrome Extensions for the Social Surfer

I love the open source community that is Mozilla, the producer of Firefox, but the browser has slowed down in recent months. Firefox blames it on the extensions, but what is Firefox without extensions? And even without extensions, it still lags behind Google’s Chrome performance.

Chrome is snappy. Even with extensions, it’s the fastest of all the browsers I’ve tried. But I keep extensions to a minimum – between 5-10. If there’s a known issue with an extension slowing down the browser, I get rid of it regardless of how useful it is. A fast browsing experience is priority number one. I may enable an extension on an as-needed basis, like the Firebug developer tool.

Of course, we surf the web to consume information, but in today’s social networked world we also share that information. Here are a few Chrome extensions that let you seamlessly share.

Buffer App – Buffer is a great way to share content to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from anywhere on the web, with just one click. The Firefox extension seems to slow down the browser significantly. Not so with the Chrome version. Just click the Buffer icon, edit the status update in the pop-up window, and it’ll be added to the scheduled tweets that you set up in your Buffer account. If you use HootSuite instead, try this extension.

Bit.ly – Use another social sharing third-party application instead of Buffer? Then Bit.ly is a must-have. This link shortener lets you instantly save and share any web page to Twitter, Facebook or email, right from your browser.

Another great option is goo.gl URL Shortener which lets you share to a host of services beyond the usual social media sites.

Pocket – This extension is great for saving information you find on the web to read later. With just one click. It automatically syncs to your phone, tablet or computer so you can view it at any time, even without an internet connection. Though not a pure social extension, the articles saved for later reading can then be shared on the social networks.

Google Tasks – If Google has invaded your life like it has mine, this is a must-have extension for keeping up with your to-dos. With the extension installed, simple type “t” in the Google bar and hit tab, followed by “Write a post on Chrome extensions” and it’ll be added to your task list. Click on the icon for a list of your current tasks and check off completed tasks.

Awesome Screenshot – We’re increasingly sharing images as well as text. This extension allows you to quickly capture the whole web page or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, and blur sensitive information. I use this frequently.

I now spend much more time in Chrome than Firefox and these are just a few of the many extensions that allow me to quickly save, edit and share information. But choose wisely and be diligent about testing each extension so that your overall surfing experience is not affected.

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