The Google Chrome extension for researchers, is a hack of an existing Google extension whereby an individual can email a URL to a friend. My hack of the extension hopefully provides researchers with a new way of collecting data from research participants on the Internet. Read more and see the extension in action here.

Before you can customise the extension so that it that includes your own email address instead of mine, the first thing you have to do is download it. Download the extension pack here: Extension pack

It should have downloaded into your ‘Download’ folder. Once you locate it, unzip the file (it’s called “email_this_pageDEMO”). You’ll see that the folder contains the following files:

Now you’re going to manipulate some code, don’t worry I’ve made it super easy for you =)

Right-click on popup.js and open the file with ‘Text Edit’ or similar text editing programming. Look for my email address in the code and replace it with your email address. Save and close.

Super easy, right?

Now you have to do something similar with the HTML file. This is a little bit of a longer process. Not more difficult just longer.

Double-click on the popup.html file and open it up in your Google Chrome browser. Click ‘View’, then ‘Developer’, then ‘View Source’ – like this.

You should then see something that looks like this…

Copy and paste the code into a TextEdit file and turn it into plain text by clicking on ‘Format’ and then ‘Make Plain Text’.

It should now look like this (minus the highlighted blue bit… this part comes next):

Right. So now you see that highlighted blue part. Once again, replace my email address with your email address.

Now save the Text file as popup.html and replace it with the one that is currently in the extension folder.

That’s it. You’re done. Right. Now to test the extension to see if it works.

Click on the little wrench icon in the top right corner of your browser:

Then click on ‘Tools’ and then ‘Extensions’. You’ll get to a page that looks something like this:

Click on ‘Load unpacked extension’ and upload the extension folder. Not the zip file, but the whole folder.

It’ll now look like this:

 

If you click on ‘Options’ you’ll see that users have the option, once they’ve downloaded the extension, to link it to their default email account or their Gmail account.

 

You should also see now that you have a little icon that looks like this next to the ‘Wrench’ icon on the top right of your toolbar:

Now if you click on the icon, you’ll see a little pop-up that says, “Don’t forget to email your search diary.” If you click on the underlined word, “email” you’ll see that it’ll open an email with the URL of the site that you’re on, and your email address has been filled in, the subject line is filled in and there’s some text in the body of the email. Neat huh!?

Like this:

 

Now you can publish your extension to the Google App store. But I’ll leave that to Google to lead you through the step-by-step instructions. Here’s the link: Publish your extension to the app store. 

Good-luck!