I myself am a huge del.icio.us fan … the handiness of tagging sites I’ve seen over at work and checking back that list at home just does it for me. Above that it’s darn handy to finding back a site by just typing in some keywords (that flash site with the green background most likely will be tagged “flash background”).
About two weeks ago, while working on a design for My Master Plan, I took a look the list of sites I tagged ‘inspiration” (public list isn’t that long … always tagging stuff as private now) to – quite obviously – get some inspiration. Opening each link page by page just made a bit nervous … so I decided to speed things up and knock up a small bookmarklet that allows me to see screenshots next to each site (as del.icio.us automatically does with tagged flickr photos).
Bookmarklet you say?
The bookmarklet is plain easy: loop all tagged links (thank you flickr for making them all h4 elements!), and place a thumbnail next to the link. But where to get the thumbnail from?
Whilst checking out a few services that provide these screenshots I first came up with websnapr as main source of thumbnail-leeching. When running the bookmarklet created the first few tagged links showed up nice (viz. the thumbnail or “Thumbnail has been queued“-message) … but after a few I got some “Forbidden Request”-messages.
D’oh! Apparently websnapr does some IP checking 🙁
Bye bye websnapr
Other provider the images could easily be snapped from was websitethumbnails.net, but that service sucks big time imo. Most of the images return “Soon” and only the .tld’s are generated. When having a group tagged on flickr, you’ll see a thumb of flickr.com (the thumb is outdated, not?) … lame!
Websitethumbnails.net getting it all wrong…
Finally ended up over at Artviper.net’s website thumbnails service and found it good. Images are generated from the correct URL, no errors on getting 100 pics at a time.
Did however find that sometimes the screenshot will to totally wrong layout-wise … but that happens only once in a blue moon (see third thumb in pic and compare that to the one from websnapr). Yay, thumbs! Somes are sk(r)ewed though. I don’t know how long the artviper.net service will hold as it does not appear to cache the thumbnails and doesn’t do any checks. And the rendering issue that happens every now and than also bothers me a bit (although I’m already happy to seeing the colors of a site). However, this cannot be an excuse to not posting this lovely bookmarklet, so here it is.
(wanted to post draggable bookmarklets, but looks some plugin is f*cking something up, so here’s the code instead. Just create a new bookmark and paste in the code as URL.)
BRAMUS.IN.SPIRE.US (websnapr edition)
BRAMUS.IN.SPIRE.US (artviper edition)
And yes, those bookmarklets are Firefox-friendly 😉
Now, if only I knew how to leech them pics from Alexa or any other service that uses some sort of hashing (didn’t even bother researching that … had to start working on that design as mentionned in the
first paragraph ;))
And no, spire.us isn’t available anymore 🙁