I don’t like browser add-ons, so I’m not a big fan of extensions for Firefox. You gotta love the price, but extensions tend to break and cause problems.
Especially if you collect extensions. This nifty browser add-on for Safari controls the web pages you visit. Don’t use this if you love reading web page ads.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Firefox, I use Firefox, some of my best friends are Firefox users. I don’t care for all the extensions available for Firefox, Mac or Windows.
Why? Trouble. Some extensions are both worthy additions to a browser experience, and never cause a moment of grief. Others, well, let’s just say that some extensions have grief built-in as their top feature.
The problem, of course, is that you don’t find out that the add-on doesn’t add on much to the browsing experience until it’s too late. Don’t get me started on browser tool bar clutter.
So, I’ve not been too much on browser extensions and add-ons because I don’t want that kind of browsing experience (grief).
However, if the Mac360 motto of “nothing ever improves without change” is truly true, then I am required to continue my quest for an improved Mac experience, even if previous experiences have been less than satisfying. It’s only fair, right?
So what happens when you add SurfRabbit to your Mac? Be prepared for a surfing experience unlike any you’ve had to date.
Whoa, Alex. What’s up with the ‘attitude?’ Am I being critical? The very name “Surf Rabbit” implies a faster surfing experience, a more efficient viewing of web pages.
Here’s what you get. SurfRabbit is a Mac application which lets you customize Safari, or any browser based on WebKit. For example, discard portions of web pages you visit using Safari.
For example, if you don’t want the huge banner ads at the top of a web page, SurfRabbit lets you ‘mark’ that section and it won’t show up next time you view the page.
If you don’t want the right hand column on a web page to display a bunch of ads, use SurfRabbit to ‘mark’ that section of the web page, and it’ll disappear automagically next time you visit the page in Safari.
Cool, huh? That’s a way to make the web browsing experience really customized.
SurfRabbit isn’t a filter, so don’t expect it to be handy to eliminate sexually oriented web pages from your viewing experience (or that of your children who may use Safari, too).
It’s relatively easy to use SurfRabbit. The install process puts files on your Mac which enable a new menu selection in Safari. Browse to a page with offending content, and use SurfRabbit to customize the page for you.
Since most web pages keep content (banner ads, menus, column ads) in the same place, Surf Rabbit let’s you select the area which holds the ad (or any other offensive content) and prevent it from being displayed in future visits.
Does that sound interesting? To me, yes and no. Yes, it’s an interesting use of Mac technology, though I am hard pressed to figure out the true benefits other than not reading ads; hence, no. Like it or don’t it’s advertising that helps pay for the online freight.
SurfRabbit, though it works on many web pages, doesn’t work on all web pagaes, so there’s some inconsistency involved. The editing process, called ‘customization’ of a web page is straightforward. For some, time consuming and laborious, for others, a neat adventure.
This is the era of RSS feeds so I visit plenty of web pages each day. I’m not about to try to customize too many of them because the end result doesn’t match the effort. SurfRabbit does work on NetNewsWire which also uses the WebKit browser engine.
In other words, as well as SurfRabbit works, some would argue that it’s really nothing more than a solution looking for a problem.
I’d rather spend my time finding a solution for a problem I already have.
An hour after getting into SurfRabbit I decided the effort wasn’t really worth what I was getting in return. Friends have tried Surf Rabbit and loved it. Your mileage may vary.
While some of the customized pages were devoid of the areas I selected to remove from each page, it took distinct and concentrated effort to get the page to not reveal what I may not want to view.
In other words, why do this? Why customize pages that may have areas or sections I don’t want to view? SurfRabbit didn’t load pages any faster; in fact, loading appeared a bit slower because of the customization process removing what I didn’t want to see.
It’s too simple a process simply to click and go to another page. Bambi and Kate have directed that we keep Mac360 simple and straightforward, despite advertising and links, both necessary evils of modern web pages.
One click gets you nearly anywhere on the Mac360 site, one click gets you back to the home page. In between, you’re treated to a few stationary menus, some ads here and there, a few sections of links to other pages, but that’s the norm for web page browsing these days.
I could summarize my view by saying that the ability to customize each web page I visit is a technological solution looking for a problem that doesn’t really exist.
TV commercials can be annoying and intrusive, but we all know the ads pay the freight, (most TV is free; similar to most web pages), so we put up with it. Other technology, such as digital or personal video recorders, let us time shift the programs we view, so we can fast forward through the advertising.
That’s a technological solution to a problem many of us encounter with our busy lifestyles. SurfRabbit added to the complexity of my life.
What do you think? Is such a solution in need of a problem? Or, does Surf Rabbit truly help you remove an unwanted presence on a web page, advertising or otherwise? Share your thoughts, barbs, flames, and perspective in the Comments section below.