Open Google Talk Gadget in Browser Sidebar

I have become a big fan of opening some of my most used web services/applications in my browser sidebar after starting to use a widescreen monitor. It gives me good use of the extra space I have in the browser with most sites I frequent being fixed width and don’t really have to be as wide as the monitor.

Here are a few things I open in a sidebar right now:

Open Google Talk Gadget in Sidebar

I have been using the Gchat within Gmail for a while now. I have the Faviconize tab Firefox Extension and the Gmail Favicon Alerts Greasemonkey script to get the Firefox tab flashing when there is activity in Gchat. But, I would have to either keep my eye on the tabs (I tend to have a dozen open) or miss someone’s IM for a while until I go back into Gmail.

I recently came across a cool bookmarklet for Google Talk gadget and figured I could use that to open the gadget in my browser sidebar. I love this as the Google Talk gadget offers a few more options than the Gchat in Gmail. You get a ‘Call’, ‘Group Chat’ & offline message (Gchat goes to compose window when a contact is offline) with Google Talk gadget. Plus, chat sessions with different contacts appear in neat tabs. When you get a new message, it creates an easy to notice yellow message blurb even if you are on a different tab.

Also, you get to see your contact’s profile picture in the gadget if they have one.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Drag this link to your browser bookmark bar GoogleTalk! OR right click and copy the location and save it as a bookmark
  2. Right click on the saved bookmark and open Properties
  3. Choose ‘open in sidebar’ option (Firefox & smiliar browsers.. not sure if it’ll work in IE)

That’s it! In Firefox, you can use F4 to toggle the GTalk gadget sidebar window. (Update: This is true only if you are using All-In One Sidebar Firefox extension as that gives you a hotkey to toggle sidebar)

I realize this post isn’t for everyone but with wide-screen monitors replacing the regular ones, I figured you might find it useful.

I love to find new things and would love to hear how you go about using Gchat/GTalk. I am sure this is not the only way and I am always open to new ideas.

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11 Responses to “Open Google Talk Gadget in Browser Sidebar”

  1. Troy March 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    You’re leaving out the 2 most important google tools that could be sidebarred, Google Reader and Google Bookmarks. Ever since I got tired of all those live bookmarks, I moved everything into reader and never looked back… it’s a great tool for blog enthusiasts like myself and lets me know when you’ve written new post.


    Forgot to add that if you don’t have a wide monitor (I don’t ) using a compact theme can really free up more browsing space.
    I just wish I could test this trick, right now I’m on a machine with IE only :(.

  2. K March 3, 2008 at 4:53 pm #

    Troy.. thanks for some more post ideas. I am not sure if I’d want to keep GReader in a sidebar as I have around 200 feeds in my reader but it could work great to just watch out for updates as you said.

    I’ll have to see if this could be made to work in IE. I tried in IE 7 but it just opens a new window (a slim one). 😉

  3. Sumesh March 4, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    I too get tired of sites that do not utilize wide screen monitors properly (I’m on 19″). But for godsake, Firefox is already blotted, I can’t see how this will help it any 😉

    Sumesh’s last blog post..How to: Disable popup warnings in Windows XP

  4. K March 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    Sumesh, Firefox doesn’t come bloated for download. We make it bloated with extensions and I play a major part in it for my readers with my weekly Firefox extension picks. 😆

  5. Nirmal March 5, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    Well it looks similar in approach, is the code same for both the add-on and bookmarklet?

    Nirmal’s last blog post..Adobe Photoshop CS4 Stonehenge Leaked

  6. K March 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    Great question, Nirmal! I am sure it’s probably the same login in both utilizing the Google talk gadget. 😛

  7. Jessica May 11, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    Hey there—-I know I’m a little late to the game, but I just stumbled onto this post and tried the bookmarklet… For some reason, it’s failing to open properly in the sidebar. It’s just opening an empty sidebar with a google talk heading and no more.

    Any ideas on how i can fix that? if i double click it, it opens it’s own little separate window, like windows live/aol/yahoo messengers…

  8. Gadget Mania September 17, 2008 at 4:02 am #

    Thanks for the post!I am a big fan of google talk and now to have it on my side bar would be doubly great.

    I tried it and it is working fine and I think is the best thing that happened to me today!

  9. Adnan August 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    Hey Jessica,

    Just bookmark this URL,
    Once bookmarked, right click the bookmark and check loads in to sidebar option
    You’re now done, click the button and it would be load in the left sidebar.

    Hope this works for you, in a much easy to follow way.

    Takes Care!
    .-= Adnan´s last blog ..Aslam =-.


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