I’ve been trying the new Chrome Extension to New Life Outlook and wanted to share it with everyone. I was asked to try it and as I’m not a naturally “techie” person I needed to recruit my 9-year-old son to explain what to do!
A Chrome Extension, as far as I can tell, is a kind of app that enhances the user experiences of, in this case, NewLifeOutlook which is an online Multiple Sclerosis (MS) community that I write regular articles for.
I was trying to install it using regular Google at first and couldn’t understand why the link wasn’t working.
“Go to Google Chrome Mum (der)” said my son which made the process much simpler!
Forgive the crude photo’s of my screen to illustrate but I couldn’t work out how to do screen shots on my laptop and my son tried in vain too! At first you input your name, then you select your condition from a long list. At this point I was tempted to choose a different illness for a change but I’m guessing it’s not that clever and I’m stuck with MS
It then asks you to select up to 16 news feeds that interest you, both general health news and MS specific. This is great as there’s so much news and information available that it’s nice to tailor it to what interests me.
Once you’ve done that you’re into the main menu where it invites you to search for what interests you. By clicking the NLO icon you can search for news from the list of feeds you’ve chosen before. By clicking on articles and news stories you can then share these via Twitter or Facebook or emailing them to people. It’s a great way of sharing information with like-minded people and much easier than trawling the internet yourself. I currently use Google alerts and get a daily list of articles by email to my phone. I can then share those via Twitter and find this so easy to do. I’m guessing this extension is available on my phone in the same way but given my lack of technical knowledge I can’t be sure! I got the Google Chrome app from the app store and searched for extensions but didn’t have any luck so I’m not sure this is possible unfortunately.
There’s also a function where you can add articles to your favourites list so you can find them easily. It says, “while you are browsing NewLifeOutlook articles, click the heart in the top right corner to add the article to your favourites list, so you can find it anytime” Unfortunately I couldn’t find this heart whilst browsing articles so was unable to use this function. I can’t stress how “technologically challenged” I am though so I fully expect the fault to be mine!
There’s also another cool “to do list” function where you can input appointments with neurologist and make notes. I can imagine this working brilliantly if you can get this extension on your phone. The amount of times I’ve waited ages for an appointment then forgotten something important I’d wanted to ask. How useful to be able to show healthcare professions articles you’ve save too and ask about the availability of new treatments. This could put MSers more in control of their own treatment and improve the care we all receive as a result.
The settings function also makes it easier to tailor the experience you receive from the extension. You can change the newsfeeds, for example, if you find you’re not getting the information you want. There’s also a “contact us” form so I asked about the availability of the extension on my iPhone. This function isn’t available but I’m guessing this is due to my not using the “live” version of the extension. It’s nice to know answers to questions and feedback can be easily obtained with a few clicks!
I also love the “inspiration” section when you click on the NLO icon. This takes you to a list of inspirational pictures and quotes that can be shared via email, Pinterest and Facebook. I’d like an option to share on Twitter here too as that’s my preferred platform but I’m just being picky!
I like the “recommended” article that appeared just under my name on the initial screen once I’d started using the extension for a while, especially as the recommended article happened to have been written by me!
With so much conflicting information available to those of us with a chronic condition it can be hard to organise our thoughts into anything coherent (that might be just me though!) This extension allows us to have a one-stop place to store information, access news and record events which puts us in control of what’s happening to us. I wish this had been available when I’d first been diagnoses because I could have save a lot of time and effort!
This extension went “live” on May 30th so I’m guessing you can search for it using the Google Chrome extensions Store. I’d love to know what you think.