Making My Own Chrome Extension

I was trying to be proactive and start working on a big paper for my Masters class early the other day and of course, I got distracted.  I started thinking about how I could make it easier for people to search through my tech tips and tutorials to find what they are looking for.  For the teachers at my school I have all of the tech tips posted to a Google Site and there are so many of them that it becomes difficult to manage and organize using a Google Site.  I have since copied all of those tech tips onto this blog so that I can share them out with a wider audience as well as see how managing them using a WordPress site would work.

I wondered if there was a way to make my own Chrome extension so someone could easily search all of the tech tips that I have posted without having to go to my site even.  I went to where I go when I am trying to learn something new, YouTube.  YouTube has been a great resource for me when I am trying to learn how to do something new since there are almost always video tutorials showing you how to do something step by step, something which I like to produce myself of course as I have well over 100 videos on YouTube for tech tips alone.  I found a good number of videos showing how you can do this and it is pretty simple, especially since the only software needed was Chrome and a text editor.

Google has set up a page to help you along the way (https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/2714278?hl=en) but I was also intriged by the ones that others had created.  I knew that if I searched enough I would find one similar to what I wanted.  I also wanted to be able to create one that would function quickly and then play with it to see how I could change it.  You can not be afraid to play with stuff to see how it works, that how it was when we were kids and it should still be that way.  I was not afraid of failing, I knew I would make mistakes but that those mistakes would help me learn in a much more effective way.

I found a couple of sites (http://www.labnol.org/software/create-chrome-apps-extensions/27958/ , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgj-2etILdk , http://lifehacker.com/5857721/how-to-build-a-chrome-extension ,  that showed examples of ones that fit what I was looking for and they even had copies you could download so that you could modify them much more quickly than if you started from scratch.  You can install a Chrome extension on your own device to see if it works before having to go through the steps to get it into the Chrome store.  I am still a ways away from placing my extension into the Chrome store, but it will definitely be done before August so that the teachers at my school have another way to quickly get information that I posted.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 8.09.33 AM

While the extension I created now allows you to easily search the YouTube videos that I have posted, I have a lot of posts on my site that do not use videos so I need an extension to search through those too.  Unfortunately I have a lot of Masters work to do this week and next so this will have to wait till later as I have lost all of my free time outside of work.  I will make sure to post again when it is finished and so that others can use it if they want.  I may even include a video on how I create the extension so you can make your own too if the resources I posted do not help.

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