Most of the time, when I come across something I find worth posting about here, its because I've been looking for something worth posting about here...absence of necessity, or boredom, is the mother of invention, as the saying goes (and, come to think of it, the mother of many of our activities. Take for instance shopping: shop⋅ping [shop-ing] –noun 1. the act of a person searching for an object to desire.) But occasionally, even in our day, one does look for something to fill a real need, and such was the case today when I was looking for a tool that would return a thumbnail preview of a webpage when you hover over its url. You can enable this kind of service on your own blog or website using Snapshots, which we decided to reimplement after our latest board meeting here at Knowbodies, and there are also add-ons that generate thumbnails for Google and Yahoo searches (Google preview) and previews for the tabs in your Firefox browser (Tabscope). I had to hunt around a bit for a tool that would provide previews for urls on pages that are not enabled with SnapShots or Thumbshots (another such service), but CoolPreviews is an add-on for Firefox that does just that. It can be useful if you want to quickly inspect a list of websites without visiting each site. For example (here comes the necessity - relatively speaking - that got me started on this), I wanted to do a very cursory examination of the many blogs listed in Walt Crawford's impressive "List of Blogs in the Liblog Landscape 2007-2008", in order to determine which of them are worthy of inclusion in the Knowbodies blogroll and soon-to-be-launched Netvibes portal to library blogs (although Knowbodies itself was deemed unworthy of inclusion in Walt's list, that doesn't stop me. I'm not that kind of person) By using CoolPreviews, I could get an impression of the blogs - e.g. how often they were updated - without visiting each one of them. CoolPreviews appends an unobtrusive blue icon at the end of the link when you mouse over it; if you want to see the preview, you just move the cursor over the icon. The preview is actually more like a fully functional resizable pop-up browser window, with a scroll bar and enabled interactivity. You will digress, but I guess that's what the internet is about! You can also use CoolPreviews to email the link of a site without leaving the current browser window. CoolPreviews is a very cool addon indeed! Below is a screen-shot of Walt's list in the background, and on the right a preview window to Phil Bradley's blog on the right.