Find Out More About People You Read About In The News With This Chrome Extension: Summer

Nancy Messieh 08-09-2012

chrome news extensionWhen you’re browsing the Web, reading the latest tech, business and world news, do you ever find yourself wondering about the people you’re reading about? If so, Summer is a handy little Chrome extension which will definitely appeal to you.


The free extension provides users with information on the personalities featured in the latest news stories, giving you insight into who they are by sharing their bio and history, and giving you a chance to connect with them on a more personal level by viewing their latest social network posts, including Twitter and Instagram.  Summer is something of a Crunchbase that follows you around the Web, and goes far beyond letting you know just about tech and Internet personalities.

Getting Started with Summer

Install the extension on Chrome and you can start finding out more about the people featured in the articles that you read. After you’ve installed the extension, Summer will suggest a few articles you might want to check out where you can find out more about personalities mentioned in them, with articles from TechCrunch, Time, Foxsports and more.

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Selecting any given article, when you open it up, you’ll find a little tab popping out on the right-hand side of your browser. Clicking on that tab will launch a sidebar listing the people Summer found on the page.
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Clicking on the a person’s name will open up a wealth of information. That information includes details on the person’s career, a bio, their Twitter account, featuring their latest tweets, Instagram photos, and links to their other online profiles. If that person, like Evan Williams for example, is associated with a certain company, information on that company will also be included. If there person is a celebrity, you’ll also get a YouTube video featuring an interview with that person. (In Jennifer Aniston’s case that would be an interview on Jimmy Kimmel).
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The kinds of information you’ll find about each personality is specific to their career, lifestyle and more. So people associated with startups and Silicon Valley will feature links to social network accounts, and a lot more personally generated content. Actors and athletes’ Summer information is a little bit more limited, sticking to content from Wikipedia and YouTube, while including a link to their personal websites and Twitter accounts.

Summer currently works only on a select list of sites, but it’s a pretty long list and a pretty varied one at that. You’ll find everything from tech blogs like TechCrunch to celeb gossip like People, with world news, sports and business in between. Summer works on major sites like CNN, BBC and the New York Times.
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Why Use Summer?

So why use an app like Summer? The service adds an interesting layer to how you browse the latest news, regardless of what your interests might be. It gives you a little bit of insight into the people that you’re reading about, and makes it a lot easier to find their Twitter accounts in case you want to see  what they’ve been saying for themselves. If you’re reading a news story about someone you aren’t familiar with, Summer gives you an instant summary on who that person is, all visible at a glance.

Summer has already earned itself comparisons to the email companion Rapportive, which gives you a little bit of insight into the people who are contacting you through Gmail. Summer does the same thing, but instead, lets you know more about personalities in the limelight.

Summer is another one of those apps that you never thought you needed, but once you start using it, you simply can’t live without it.

What do you think of Summer? Let us know in the comments.


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  1. Raymond Beets
    September 13, 2012 at 6:40 am

    All software needs a point of origin. To say that the content is US specific is missing the point. Personally I think this is an excellent add-on and will help when I'm reading about international news (I'm reside in South-Africa). Also, as I've stated its an excellent starting point and as one of the founders of Summer has noted in the comments, they are adding more websites outside UK/US specifics taking user feedback into account. I do hope it keeps growing as this extension will be mighty useful.

  2. Ohad
    September 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hi, I'm one of the founders here at Summer. We are adding more websites (also ones that are not US/UK specific). We'd love to hear your suggestions about websites we should add, feedback about our product and anything else on twitter -

  3. Raj Bhagwandas
    September 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    It's a shame that its directed mainly at US residents.

  4. GrrGrrr
    September 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    it is good only for the ppl in the US, as majority of content is US specific.

    • Nancy Messieh
      September 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      Actually - taking a look at the sources it's not just US content. There's Israeli, UK, European and international sites like reuters on there so I think there's already quite a bit of content that will appeal to more than just a US audience.

      • Ahmed Khalil
        September 9, 2012 at 4:46 am

        i think it still consentrate on USA and UK and for Africa or Asia nothing