The last five days have been utterly crazy. As soon as I ran across Product Hunt’s API (and Algolia’s Search APIfor PH), it was a no brainer: this had to be in the extension & add-on.

So I’ve been in programming-overdrive and have knocked out at least dozen usability issues along the way (check the github repos! [FF, Chrome])

As always, let me know if you find any issues with Kiwi, and enjoy using it! You can find the latest Chrome version here and Firefox version here.

Kiwi Conversations launched on HN this weekend, and people seemed pretty interested — with 420 installations in the Chrome Web Store over the last three days (and 26 in the Firefox add-on marketplace).

But many HN commenters expressed concern about its default behavior, despite their enthusiasm for the idea. Kiwi Conversations would automatically check for conversations (on Reddit, HN, Google News) about the URLs you visited, by default. While this makes for a really serendipitous browsing experience, new users may be confused or dubious to the extension’s (old) default behavior, so I’ve made some changes:

1.) Research Mode is now set to ‘off’ by default. With Research Mode ‘off’ – users can still check for conversations about URLs on a case-by-case basis and perform custom searches across HN, Reddit, and Google News. This will not affect the settings of already-installed extensions, only fresh installs.

Another HN reader noted that there wasn’t much of an explanation about Research Mode, so I’ve added some in-extension/add-on tooltips.

2.) Multiple commenters had the bright(!) idea to have a Whitelist, so that users could switch Research Mode to ‘off’ but add certain sites (e.g., news sites, blogs, etc.) to be automatically checked. Whitelisting has now been implemented.

3.) Thanks to other user feedback, Kiwi Conversations now finds Reddit posts that have been “hidden” by the subreddit mods — very cool!

Note: if you have already installed Kiwi Conversations and don’t see the above changes reflected in your extension, to force the update, remove from Chrome and reinstall –> I’ve noticed Google’s update roll out process is finicky, and some of my test machines have updated, while others haven’t. Firefox has add-on auto-updates turned-off by default, so you’ll need to toggle that setting or do a clean install to see the change.

There were other suggestions including: inline, expandable comments.  That’s in the pipeline, but, given the length of some comments (eg.), browsing these in the small popup window of an extension/add-on is not-great™.  My plan, therefore, is to support a sidebar ui option, which is also rumored to be making its way to Chrome. On that note, I might wait until Chrome releases its panel api to make this a core feature.

So, I could not address all the feedback from the comments…, but I feel like this is a solid first step. Let me know if you find any bugs. More to come in the upcoming months. 😀