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Making FriendFeed Look the Way I Want It To

[Updated with a more modular version of the steps below. First, install Stylish. Then create the following three new blank styles, and populate them with the code here:

Now you can toggle things on and off at will depending on your minute-by-minute needs.]

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I interrupt your regularly scheduled library-related thinking to bring you a brief note about FriendFeed. It recently changed its look rather significantly, and a few of us felt a little claustrophobic every time we looked at it. Luckily, if you’re running Firefox you can install Stylish, which lets you modify a site’s CSS. Once you install that, you need one or more of the following:

  1. Enough knowledge of CSS to modify the site as you wish
  2. Friends who know enough CSS to do that for you
  3. The Internet, where you can find ready-made styles like this one

I know enough CSS to break things or tinker mildly with things that already exist, and I have friends who put up with my requests for help and whose code I steal mercilessly (hi Steve), and I have the Internet. So I started with this style, modified it to make it look more the way I wanted, begged for help making it look even more the way I wanted, and now have a small suite of style options (which you can copy and paste into new Stylish styles):

  1. For when I’m in friend mode, at home: this cleaned up version. (last updated 5/29/2009)
  2. For when I’m in work mode and really just want text to skim: this stripped down version that gets rid of user icons. (last updated 5/29/2009)
  3. And since I’m not a very picture-oriented person, it seems: a style that makes all posted images into teensy thumbnails that I can click on to view in their larger sizes when I want to.

I have (1) and (3) running together at home, and I have (2) and (3) running at work.

Lest you think I’m at all good at this, I should point out that my tweaks were incredibly minor. Steve Lawson did the big stuff (by which I mean shrinking images to thumbnails, highlighting direct messages, and removing user icons). You’ll also notice, if you look carefully at the code, that I just commented out portions of the original code, so you can restore that stuff and tweak it if you want.

A couple of other people really liked seeing which services were responsible for individual FriendFeed posts (like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc). If you’re like them, try this Greasemonky script (after installing Greasemonkey, of course).

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