#iPad app of the week: Bookmarklets in Safari

This week, instead of looking at an app and everything you can do with the app, I decided to focus on just one thing, Bookmarklets.  A bookmarklet according to Wikipedia is “Unobtrusive JavaScript stored as the URL of a bookmark in a web browser or as a hyperlink on a web page.”  So in layman’s terms that means that a bookmarklet is a “bookmark” that allows you to share a web page to a social network.  This is handy on the iPad as there are a number of social networking services that don’t yet have an app.  For me this is a critical issue since I spend a lot of my leisure exploring the depths of the Internet for ideas, ways to solve problems, and the next great thing.  But when I find something I want an easy way to store and share that information.  This is where a bookmarklet comes in handy.

I found the following steps at http://static.chrisbray.com/bookmarklets/.  You can go there to find the code for various social networking sites, but here are the steps you will go through to add a bookmarklet to your iPad.  You can also find a variety of bookmarklets for different social networking sites here as well.  If the social network of your choice isn’t there, do a Google search for bookmarklet javascript and the name of the social network of your choice.  You’d be surprised what comes up.

  1. Add this page as a bookmark by tapping the share button and add a new bookmark.
  2. Find the bookmarklet below[from http://static.chrisbray.com/bookmarklets/ that is] that you want, and select and copy the Javascript to your clipboard.
  3. Go to your bookmarks and edit the new bookmark.  Edit the name and paste the Javascript in the field for the URL.
  4. Done.
Now don’t be worried about Javascript and editing bookmarks.  It really doesn’t require much more than a few clicks and a copy and paste.  Here is a video that goes through all the steps:
So this really is a toss up when thinking about content consumption or creation.  I’m going to err on the side of creation, because sharing is really a step past consumption.  It may be a stretch, but in the end, bookmarklets are going to help you be more productive when you browse the Internet on your iPad.

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