This weekend at the conference I got to spend some quality time with Jessamyn. Not only did we share one of the best wifi experiences I’ve ever had, but she also turned me on to a Firefox extension I’m wild about: CustomizeGoogle. If you haven’t explored the world of extensions for Firefox (you *are* using Firefox, right?), they are little add-ons that can make the browser even more functional. Here’s a list of “The Firefox Hacks You Must Have” from Wired.
Back to CustomizeGoogle. This little guy removes Google ads from search results, gmail, gcal, and other apps in the Google suite. We’ve all become good at ignoring these ads, but the pages are much easier to look at without the extra clutter. One other nifty thing it can do (among a bunch of other stuff) is add links to other search tools to the top of a Google search.
CustomizeGoogle might be useful for school librarians and teachers that want to get students using these tools (because they are free, or to expose them to the latest and greatest) but don’t necessarily care for making those ads part of the curriculum. Then again, is preventing students from seeing real world ads not preparing them for real world web surfing? Is taking the google ads off of a public access computer in a public library censorship?
I don’t have the answers to those questions, but CustomizeGoogle is still a great way to filter your own internet experience!