Welcome Niche Toolbars – The New-Age Advents

Apr 28


Partha Bhattacharya

Partha Bhattacharya

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Necessity for toolbar has shifted from plain search (plus some add-ons) to more specific needs. This is the reason niche toolbars have arrived on the scene.

Web users who have had the benefit of exploring a toolbar will surely vouch for its utility. In its primitive,Welcome Niche Toolbars – The New-Age Advents Articles toolbar allows surfing one or more search engines, but it is the ability to study various on-page factors that determine a toolbar’s usefulness.

In a recent article, I have spoken about Alexa toolbar and how it helps frequent surfers on the net. This article will – among abundance of toolbars – focus on some niche types that promise to enrich web-life. But first, for the benefit of new entrants to internet, here is a quick recap of what toolbar is.

Toolbar – What Is It?

A toolbar is mostly a free utility software, which when downloaded and installed, will usually reside along with menu-bar at the top of your popular browser. Toolbars change hue depending on who provides it.

For example, the oft-used Google toolbar offers basic search and access to its news site in addition to highly popular PageRank (of the webpage being viewed) and the option to block annoying pop-over and pop-under ads among others. Another example can be UCmore toolbar. Though quite similar to Alexa, UCmore is a valuable help in accelerating your search for related websites. If you are a search freak and want to query all major search engines from one place, Groowe toolbar is the answer.

Niche Toolbars

Necessity for toolbar has shifted from plain search (plus some add-ons) to more specific needs. This is the reason niche toolbars have arrived on the scene. While majority of users still rely on general toolbars (because they meet aggregate needs), many surfers make use of niche toolbars to dig out specific information. The main advantage of a niche toolbar is that it allows a user to remain constantly updated with latest categorized information.

Congoo’s NetPass

Let me coin an adage: Information is at the center of all decisions. Hardly surprising, you’d say. Nothing new, many would opine. Yet, of all that we do each day, how much we keep – rather afford to keep – ourselves updated with latest information? Not many of us can do that. Juggling between job on hand and keeping ears open for ‘breaking news’ is a tough call.

NetPass makes it easy to shuffle across top news sites even as you check your emails as a routine. Congoo has partnered with top news publishers, such as Financial Times, eContent, Richmond Times-Dispatch, chron.com, TheStreet.com, Harvard Health Publications, Britannica, The Boston Globe, etc. to produce the latest news that can be had when you search for a chosen term.

NetPass is a help because it gets you access to introductory and free news articles, which in some cases would cost minimum subscription to have a peek at, even if only for once. NetPass can be downloaded free here. A small caveat: It works on IE only as at present. Congoo says the Firefox version is due shortly.

BlogEverywhere’s Blogbar

This one is a cute piece. Still in early stage, BlogEverywhere’s toolbar – sorry, blogbar – allows you to read and make comments to your favorite blogs. To quote BlogEverywhere, its blogbar “is a simple way for you to log your thoughts and comments on any web page ‘without leaving it’. It enables you to have a conversation with other readers of that page.

”Let’s see what are other features. For sure, searching the web, blocking pop-ups, locating and highlighting search terms in the webpage being viewed are all there. There is one feature, called ‘CC Blogs’, that automatically posts your comments to your popular blog websites. What else?The blogbar allows you to install site enhancement scripts that primarily allow you easy access to your favorite mailbox from among Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. You have the option of previewing a mail in the inbox itself without actually opening the mail. This feature is now gradually finding wide acceptance. Rediffmail offers this for quite awhile.

For a piece of BlogEverywhere’s blogbar, click here.


Recall we started this piece with niche toolbars. EffectiveBrand leads a popular niche where you get your very own toolbar. Yes I know there are quite a few out there. But EffectiveBrand is better than most. Correct me if I’m wrong.

With EffectiveBrand, as the name suggests, a user can create his own toolbar targeted at specific viewers like those interested in Yahoo! Groups, ebay stores or in blog contents of Blogger.com. It is also possible to create a general toolbar serving your community viewers. Either way, the toolbar you create is a free service from EffectiveBrand, who collects revenues from searches made from the toolbar.

A great point with EffectiveBrand toolbar is that you may opt for RSS instant messaging tool, that helps broadcast your news and information to all your toolbar users. That the search engines like Yahoo! and Google readily pick up your RSS messaging is an added advantage. For your own EffectiveBrand toolbar, click here.

Summing up

Today, toolbar is an accepted necessity in web-life. If your work requires you to spend better part of your time on the net, it is time to look for a suitable toolbar that seeks to sweeten your web experience. On the flip side, if you do not want a top-heavy browser with multiple toolbars staring at you, you have to be selective. One looks forward to the day when you are able to ‘minimize’ toolbars to a tray and select your choice only when needed.