Photo from Minority Report
The future is here! You can now take action on any website. I'm not kidding! Next time you're reading an article about global warming, you'll be able to just highlight the words “global warming” and easily connect to the various ways you can take action to save our planet.
How is this possible, you ask?
Thanks to a Firefox extension called Ubiquity and a Social Actions command written by Marnie Webb!
Ubiquity is a flexible Firefox Extension that lets you do all sorts of things to give you more control of your browsing experience, including the ability to add specific Ubiquity "commands" (or tools for enhacing your Firefox browser).
How do I add it?
First, download Ubiquity to your Firefox browser. (Direct link)
Now re-start your browser.
Then add the Social Actions Ubiquity Command.
Restart your browser again.
Now you're good to go!
To test it out, go check out this article on the New York Times website and:
1) Highlight the words “Global Warming” (without the quotes)
2) Then hit the space bar + CTRL button at the same time
3) Type in “social-actions” (again, without the quotes)
Now hit enter! If everything goes to plan, a new tab will open up with ways to take action on global warming from Social Actions' 30+ partners – including Change.org, GlobalGiving, Care2, Celsias (new to Social Actions!), Democracy in Action, Kiva.org, Nabuur, ThePoint, SixDegrees, and dozens of other sites.
Note: You also don't have to highlight anything. You can just invoke Ubiquity (Ctrl+Space), type "social-actions" (without the quotes) and then type an action search phrase. Try it with "frogs" (again, without the quotes) and let the fun begin!
I think this is an awesome example of how anyone can use the Social Actions search and open database to build innovative tools & applications that make it easier for people to make a difference. Definitely expect to see a lot more of these innovative applications come out of the Change the Web Challenge.
Thank you to Marnie Webb for mashing together this great tool to help us take action! Also make sure to check out Marnie's comprehensive notes about the Social Actions Ubiquity command.
Thank you also to Dietrich Ayala and Abimanyu Raja of the Ubiquity team for your support!
Interestingly, a similar idea for mashing Firefox with Social Actions was co-evolved by Amy Sample Ward, and was one of the first ideas added to the Social Actions Labs wiki (Idea #4).
What do you think? Does this extension work for you? Do you find it useful to connect to actions? What other applications would help you take action?