Surveillance Observatory Bookmarklet

This is a fun mix of Gravity Forms and a bit of javascript.

We’ve got the Surveillance Observatory here and some ways to contribute stories. Participation there is sub-optimal. Lots of reasons for that and a chunk that I can’t solve but I can make submitting coverage easier. I wanted it to feel more like pinboard or the original

What I should have done was just look at my current pinboard bookmarklet but I didn’t think to do that until I started writing this post.

First, I needed to allow the form fields to be populated dynamically. There are lots of ways to do that but Gravity Forms has an easy built-in way. I wanted to use the query string option. So I went and named my fields. That lets me populate the field with a URL like this

So now I need some javascript that gets the page title, the url, and whatever text is highlighted.

var currentUrl = window.location.href;//get url
var title = document.title;//get title
var text = '';
  text = document.getSelection();//get any highlighted text

Now I want to open that same URL I made earlier as a popup window with those variables as URL parameters.

var currentUrl = window.location.href;
var title = document.title;
var text = '';
  text = document.getSelection();
newUrl = `${title}&url=${currentUrl}&summary=${text}`;,"", "width=400, height=600");

Now to turn it into a bookmarklet, I just used the Bookmarkleter tool.

That gives me this code which you can drag to your bookmark bar — log privacy event.

I put this form on a new page just for the bookmarklet. I did a bit of CSS to remove extra elements so the page would work better in a popup window. I used the post id to make sure these changes only applied to this page.

.page-id-159 #main-nav,.page-id-159 #right-sidebar {
	display: none;

2 thoughts on “Surveillance Observatory Bookmarklet

  1. I never tire of bookmarklets and it was worth the read to find the bookmarkleter tool, I might need to polish some old ones.

    It should make it easier to contribute to a collection from wherever you might roam on the web, but it always seems uphill into the wind getting participation no matter how easy the tool. May your success happen!

    1. You and I may be the last of the bookmarklet lovers (great album, great shirt) . . . I keep expecting them to get zapped for security reasons.

      I’m with you on questioning whether this will actually change participation levels. Fingers crossed, but callouses already in place.

      I really did it because it was a problem (but not the problem) I could solve and it was an interesting model that I might use again some day. People are always the hard part.

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