Keyboard Shortcut Feature 3x3Links Blog

3x3Links is a Speed-Dial-Style Browser Start Page. Here is the Blog with news about new features and background information.
If you already use 3x3Links, here is the feed to get the updates.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

3x3Links Bookmark Button for Chrome

Do you sometimes wish to be able to add a website you are just browsing to your 3x3Links page? There is an extension for that!

The 3x3Links Bookmark button will be added to your Chrome Navigation Bar.

Your will be able to display your 3x3Links page by entering your 'No Sign-In required' Link ID.

Clicking on an empty spot will allow your to bookmark the current website!

Download Chrome Beta with Extensions
Download the 3x3Links Bookmark Button Extension

This is a kind of a Christmas present for all you Chrome and 3x3Links users out there. Once HTML Extensions are available for Firefox, we will add this feature there too.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2010!
Federico of 3x3Links

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chrome: Load 3x3Links when opening new tab

Until now it was not possible to customize the website displayed when opening a new tab in Google's Chrome Browser: Always the default Chrome homepage was displayed. With the newest Google Chrome Beta build this changes with the introduction of Extensions for Google Chrome (similar to Firefox Add-ons).

Now you can decide which website to be displayed when opening a new tab, either via the "New Tab" button or by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL+T.

How to:
  1. Download and install the Google Chrome Beta to be able to install Extensions or wait until the Gold Version supports Extensions.
  2. Download the Chrome Extension New Tab Website.
  3. Set up your Encrypted 'No Sign-In required' Link as your website to open on new tab.
  4. Enjoy :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Adding a little bit more security with SSL support

Dear 3x3Links user,
we just enabled TLS/SSL on our site.
This means that the traffic from your computer to 3x3Links can be now completely encrypted.

Until know, you might have use a similar URL to access your 3x3Page without signing in: (Sample)

While this URL remains valid, we recommend to switch now to the secure HTTPS (or TLS/SSL) one: (Sample)

  • The open parameter remains the same.
  • All existing links keep on working
  • The appspot Domain is the official domain of the Google App Engine Framework, 3x3Links is hosted upon.
  • If you are using 3x3 as your company intranet startpage, we strongly recommend to use the new secure URL.
If you have any questions, please drop a comment below or use the Options - Contact formular on 3x3Links.

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    Three new Features: Background color, Owner and Subtitles

    #1 Change the background color of your 3x3Page
    Go to Options - Personal Link. Beside uploading and positioning a background image, you can now also choose a background color, either via a color picker (by jscolor), or by typing the color code.

    #2 Show who created this public 3x3Page
    As a new commercial 3x3Page feature, you are now able to define the creator of the 3x3Page by his name, website and a website title. Those information are used to build a hyperlink.
    Commercial pages are intended to be shared with a global audiance, not only a restricted circle.

    #3 Describe your links

    Go to Customize - List View. Inside your link table, a new field is available called subtitle. If available, a subtitle is displayed when stopping your mouse over a link.
    In addition, a real 'subtitle' is displayed on the bottom of your Commercial 3x3Page when moving your mouse over a link (see below).

    How you could use all this nice little features (Live Demo):

    More features to come!

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    3x3Links hits Japan! Should we localize 3x3Links?

    I'm so happy about 3x3Links being noticed in Japan:

    The Japanese Webmarketing Blog wrote a very detailed article about 3x3Links with a lot of images, even from 3x3 running on a Android phone (I used Google Translate to read it).

    Also I notices already Germany, Italian and Polish blogs writing about 3x3Links and now even Japan!

    The question is: Does 3x3 need localization? Should we focus on creating German, Polish and Japanese translations of 3x3Links or continue introducing new enhancements? Any volunteers for translating 3x3? :)

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    What is 3x3Links about?

    Joel Spolsky asked on his Blog: "What is your company about?", and successfully answered this question for his company, Fog Creek Software. Motivated by this, we tried to answer the same question for 3x3Links:

    3x3Links: We help users to organize their favorite websites and to access those lightning fast on any computer.

    Lets dismantle this statement to verify it's fitting:

    "organize": You can group your favorites into folders based on the topic or related activity, e.g. Shopping, Entertainment or Socializing.

    "lightning fast": #1 The 3x3 page design is quite minimal and we have some cruel rules to keep the overall performance fast, e.g. website logos must be smaller than 5kb and all users share the same logos. Still, we feel there is some space left for improvement in the future.
    #2 We have a unique keyboard shortcut key concept allowing you access up to 729 of your favorite links in under one second.

    "any computer": 3x3 is web-based and can be accessed from every computer either using your personal key (for safe locations) or your personal url (for unsafe locations) without the need to sign in.

    Do you think we managed it to describe 3x3Links correctly?

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    Happy Birthday 3x3Links: Users may have multiple 3x3Pages now.

    When a web service like 3x3Links grows one year older, there is always some kind of gift - not for the service, but for it's users. It's the same with 3x3Links, which becomes one year old today.

    We are happy to announce 3x3Pages. Each 3x3User can now create not only one 3x3 Homepage, but unlimited ones. Create a 3x3Page for your personal use, work, hobby or just favorite topic.

    Share your 3x3Page about your favorite topic by listing it in search engines. Other surfers might profit from your knowledge and your 3x3Page.

    How to create a topic-related, public 3x3Page

    1. Sign in with your Google Account to 3x3Links.
    2. On the top right, click "My Pages".
    3. Click "Create a new 3x3Page".
    4. Set up your Links by clicking "Customize".
    5. Go to "Options" > "Personal Link" and define a Personal Link and a Caption for your 3x3Page matching your topic.
    6. Set How will you use 3x3Links? to "Commercial" and check "List in search engines". Don't worry, we will not charge you for this.
    7. You are done, your page is public and can be seen in the 3x3Directory.
    8. Switch between your 3x3Pages by clicking "My Pages" and selecting your desired page.

    If you have any problems, use the contact form to drop us a line. We will try to help you.
    Otherwise, have fun creating a lot of useful 3x3Pages.

    Some pics from the tiny 3x3Birthday Event. *sweet*

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    3x3Links Media Coverage and Future Plans

    Who is talking about 3x3Links?

    The Swiss Blog describes the 3x3Links navigation concept as "simple, but ingenious" and highlights the "neck breaking" fast ability to access your links (Translated from German). I'm feeling proud reading this.
    Read the full article (in German language) writer Kimberly White suggests to use a 3x3Links Page as your personal "Online wedding planning organizer". Using 3x3Links for helping organizing an event also refers to a feature some of you might be missing: The ability to create multiple 3x3Pages per account for different purposes. I'm glad to announce, that this is one of the next features to be implemented.
    Read the full article

    How is 3x3Links doing so far?

    Thanks for asking. Not bad at all. As of now, 3x3Links serves around 600 startpages daily and has more then 70 active users. Currently I'm running a little AdWords compaign to spread the word and to reach my self-given goal for this year: 1000 daily uses.

    Reminder: 3x3 will become 1 year old on November, 1st.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Table View

    Imagine you want to create a new folder at your 3x3Links page, called "Socialize". You click on the Customize link and start adding links inside the 3x3 Grid. You will need a lot of Clicks to create all nine links.

    A 3x3 User had the same problem and wrote me an E-Mail asking for some kind of "Batch Create" for Links. Here is the result:

    The Links Table View allows you to change all nine links of a level at once and to save all changes with one click. You save a lot of clicks when filling a new folder. For reorganizing links you still have to use the default Grid View.

    But this is not all.

    Recently my friend Kim wrote an article about using 3x3Links as your business intranet start page. There, she recommends first to organize all your important links inside a spreadsheet and to group those by categories. At your 3x3Page, you can then create a folder for each category and put the related links inside. Wouldn't it be great then, to simply use copy-and-paste to import your spreadsheet data into 3x3Links? Jep.

    To do so, go to Customize -> List View and click on Import data from Spreadsheet at the bottom of the page. A data paste field appears including brief instructions.


    Friday, August 28, 2009

    Little Image, Big Effect. Tiled background now supported

    3x3Links does already support uploading and positioning your own background image for some time. This is especially great for company logos.

    Since today, as a new option, you can now also tile your background image. This is just great if you want to add a cool Web 2.0 effect to your page, without slowing it down by a large background image file.

    For creating your personal tile graphic, you might want to check out the Web 2.0 Stripe Generator.

    Monday, August 24, 2009

    How to Create an Efficient Intranet Start Page for Your Business (using 3x3Links)

    A good friend of my, Kim, posted a video guide how to use 3x3Links as your intranet start page at your company. You can watch it at eHow.

    Thanks Kim!

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    3x3Links Mobile Version

    Until now, 3x3Links was designed for PC-use only. This is going to change.

    Since I recently managed it to acquire an android phone, the need for a mobile version of the 3x3Links personal page dramatically increased. And here it is:

    Accessing your personal 3x3 Page with a mobile browser will now display a special Mobile Style Sheet. This works as of now for your personal 3x3Links web address (e.g. and the 3x3Links 'No Sign-In required' Link ([personal_string])

    Since I got no access to a variaty of mobile devices, it is now up to you to improve 3x3Links Mobile on your phone:
    1. Open 3x3Links on your mobile.
    2. Is the mobile style properly displayed?
    3. Does the Javascript engine work properly?
    If you experience any problems, please post a screenshot here, or contact me via the 3x3Links contact form (Options -> Contact).

    Feel also free to post your experience with the mobile version and suggestions to enhance the 3x3 Mobile experience.

    Thanks a lot.

    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    New Option: Open Links in new Tab

    This feature is actually a user request.

    You may now tell 3x3Links to open your Links in a new Tab, rather then in the current one.
    This option can be set on the Options -> Personal Link page, and it is valid for all your Links.

    Hidden feature hint#1:
    Last post I mentioned a hidden feature in 3x3Links. Until now nobody seems to have found it.
    Therefor I like to give you a hint: The developer behind 3x3Links is anxious to use the keyboard rather then the mouse whenever possible.
    You might win a book if you describe the hidden feature first.

    Saturday, June 6, 2009

    3x3Links leaves BETA stage

    I'm exited to announce 3x3Links finally leaves it's logo-less BETA stage:

    It finally became a grown-up service including a blog, you are just reading, a twitter account (@3x3links) and a GetStatisfaction page for your feedback.

    There is even an undocumented feature you might stumble upon. If you discover it, drop me a comment. The first poster fully describes the feature will receive a small gift:
    The book Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki (or a similar one if you already got it). It gave me tons of tips I followed creating 3x3Links.

    Since 3x3Links 1.0 can be considered as finished, I will increase spending my time on a sister project while collecting user feedback to determine which features to add next to 3x3Links.

    Keep you updated.

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    A short History of 3x3Links

    First, there was Chrome. Actually, there was Opera before, but I didn't know back then.

    When opening a new tab in Chrome, a 3x3 grid with thumbshots of the websites visited last appears. How nice! I really dislike tiny links making it hard to aim at with your mouse.
    I found out later this feature was called Speed-Dial. It should change my life forever.

    Back then at my company we had a department startpage for our browser with all the important links to web applications and Intranet pages. It was a mess: A HTML page with 20 shortcuts build out of an icon and a caption. It looked like an untidy windows desktop.
    We needed a redesign.

    The demands:
    • Big links for fast mouse navigation
    • A possibility to group links into categories, e.g.: Inform, CRM, Webapps etc.
    One and one came together and the GUI design was taken over from the Chrome Speed-Dial feature with several enhancements:
    • A link can not only point to websites, but also to another Speed-Dial page making it possible to group links
    • A maximum of 3 levels was established, because I thought 3 x 3 x 3 sounded cool
    • Firefox supports a CSS tag for rounded corners which was included, since I was using Firefox and it looked nice
    • The border color of folders became orange, since this was the color of folder icons in windows
    • Since I didn't want to take snapshots of all the Intranet applications, I took the logos, which looked much cooler
    • I added keyboard shortcuts based on the 1 to 9 keys on the keyboard number pad, since I was used to it by often typing numbers. I knew the position of the keys on the keyboard by heart and somehow it was also obvious: 9 links on the start page and 9 number keys, both arranged in a 3x3 grid.
    At this point there was no, just an internal intranet start page for my department used by my colleagues. Now something dangerous happened: I got used to it.
    Intranet News? - Press CTRL+T, 4, 8
    DB List? - Press CTRL+T, 9, 9
    I never called my favorites so fast. Here is a screenshot of the first 3x3Links, programmed in PL/SQL, running on a Oracle DB and with a HTML frontend:

    Since I became addicted to the concept, I just wanted to use it also at home. But how should I get an Oracle DB and Application Server running at home? No way.

    Luckily The Google App Engine came to my help. It was August 2008 and it was just released out of private beta. I just had to learn Python.

    3x3Links was rewritten from the scratch in Python in one month going live first of November 2008. It was mentioned by Lifehacker [via Digital Inspiration] three days after the Alpha version has been released.
    I was so excited, I couldn't sleep the whole night.

    Since then a lot of new features based on user feedback have been added to 3x3Links as mentioned inside the change log. Starting now, all news regarding 3x3Links will be posted to this blog. Subscribe now to our RSS feed.

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