winners of the Extend Firefox 2 awards this morning after being selected from a list of more than 100 submissions by a panel of tech celebrity judges . The Minimap Sidebar Extension (fast mapping), SamePlace (multiclient browser IM) and Shareaholic (multi tool bookmark submitter) were the award winners and 12 runners up were named as well.Three Firefox extensions were named
Though basing a business on a browser extension might seem crazy, for the select few companies highlighted in Mozilla events like this it can lead to a big increase in user numbers, especially if support from Mozilla continues.
Judges for the contest included Garrett Camp from StumbleUpon, Brendan Eich from Mozilla, Jesse James Garrett of Adaptive Path, Tariq Karim from NetVibes and Joshua Schachter, founder of Del.icio.us. It's a group that knows a cool browser tool when they see one.
The most sophisticated winner may be the most niche-targeted, and that's the Minimap Sidebar Extension, by Tony Farndon from the UK. This extension lets users do all kinds of things by dragging and dropping map and location data in their browsers. Whether it's just text identifying a location or a whole KML file, Minimap lets you quickly view map data in a wide variety of platforms - from the big online mapping services (G/Y/M) to Google Earth of map mashup maker Platial. User created sidebar maps can also be saved for later reuse. Many readers might not have a daily use for this extension, but I know I might find myself working on a particular project for which this cool tool would be perfect.
SamePlace IM is an XMPP based multiclient IM service with a sidebar display or flyout client. It was built by Massimiliano Mirra in Italy. You can drag and drop images and text into conversations, play games, sketch together and extend SamePlace with an internal scriptlet editor. There's Twitter and OpenID support, too. While Meebo isn't intended for power users, SamePlace clearly is.
Finally, Jay Meattle's Shareaholic lets you quickly post any URL to 13 of the coolest social bookmarking services online. From Ma.gnolia to FriendFeed to Tumblr. It also lets you easily email a link to friends and see how many times it has been tagged in Del.icio.us and Dugg.
I appreciate all of the above, but personally I only foresee myself using the Minimap extension, and that only rarely. It might be a good idea for me to use Shareaholic, too, so that I can get the superior features of Ma.gnolia but participate in the public space of Del.icio.us. I really like the Ma.gnolia submission tool, though. Don't forget to check out the runners up, too, if you love Firefox extensions.
Details will be posted soon for the next contest, Extend Firefox 3 , kicking off in early March.