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Getting the Most from the Lib Dem Toolbar - FREE!

February 20, 2008 12:00 AM

Introduced last year, the Liberal Democrats free toolbar for your web browser (e.g. Firefox or Internet Explorer) brings you a bundle of convenient features, including the latest news headlines from the party, a Google search box (from which the party earns money each time you do a search) and a drop down list of the party's main UK-wide sites.

A batch of new menu items and services has recently been added, so even if you are already using the toolbar, it is well worth reading on to find out all that it now holds.

If you have not yet got the toolbar on your computer, you can download it from http://liberaldemocrats.ourtoolbar.com/

Downloading and installation is very easy and only takes a few moments. (Despite what this page says, it works on a wide range of computers, including both PCs and Apple Macs.)

Once installed, it will appear at the top of your web browser and will be updated automatically if any new features are added or menus are changed. This is particularly useful for the website links, as it means they will always be up-to-date.

If you click the downward arrow next to the "Lib Dems" you get a menu which lets you customise the toolbar to suit your own needs, help information in case anything is going wrong, a feedback form and other similar links.

The search box next to this uses the Google search engine - but with one bonus. If you do any Google searches via this box, the party gets paid a proportion of the Google advertising revenue from your searches. So you can search the internet as usual - and also help raise money for the party at the same time.

The "Our sites" menu gives you a handy set of links to the party's main (federal) websites, all in one place and automatically updated as new sites come and go. Included in the list is a "Shop" link that takes you through to various party deals, such as our deal with Amazon, who pay the party a commission (without charging you anything extra) each time you shop with them using this link.

Newly added to the menu is a group of links to the party on Facebook, including the main Liberal Democrat presence, the party's own Liberal Democrat application and Nick Clegg's Facebook presence.

There is also a link to the party's free news by text message service (using Twitter), along with two independent websites run by party members - Liberal Democrat Voice and Lib Dem Blogs.

Next along (4) is a new service, bringing you both the highlights of Nick Clegg's most recent media coverage and also news about forthcoming media appearances by our MPs and peers (this is the Flock Together media events service).

This brings us to the scrolling news ticker (5), displaying the latest news headlines from www.libdems.org.uk. Clicking on a headline will take you through to the full story on our website.

To the right of the news ticker is the latest weather forecast - click on this to change its location - followed by any toolbar updates we have sent out to users.

All in all - as you can see, there is a large number of handy features all packed into the one toolbar!