Neat Side Projects No. 5

Neat Side Projects No. 5

Peter Thaleikis

Peter Thaleikis

Engineer. Maker. Open Source Fan. Backpacker

by Peter Thaleikis


With starting this list I've begun to collect more and more ideas. Whenever I find something interesting I put it in my notes and select some interesting side project ideas and projects

As every week: if you got any feedback please get in touch. Let's get started with some neat side-projects:

Help others accessing the Tor Network using the “Snowflake“ extension

The Tor Project has published an extension which allows you to use your browser as a Tor-node called “Snowflake“. This way you can share your (hopefully) less censored internet access with people in countries which have only a strongly censored internet access. You don't need to worry about things others do as your browser will not become an exit-node. It becomes only a regular node. The extension can be turned on and off easily and shows some stats as well.

This extension isn't a tool to access the internet freely, it's for contributors to the network. To access the internet freely without censorship you need to use the Tor Browser.

Make your website faster by pre-fetching content while the browser is idle

QuickLink is a library published and maintained by Google's Chrome Labs. It allows you to pre-fetch content while the browser is idle. Links in viewport are pre-fetched, if the user isn't on a slow internet connections or data-saver mode on. The library is very small with less than 1 KB file size. More information on the options and required installation steps are on the GitHub repo linked at the beginning.

Do keywords research where you search

I've started learning more about SEO a while ago. It's tricky at times, as you can't verify your results immediately. But decent information definitely helps along the way. Yesterday, I've stumbled across Keywords Everywhere. It's a Firefox & Chrome extension showing you keyword volumes while searching as well as alternatives in a box next to your search results. Pretty handy, if you are planning to write an article and want to know if there is an alternative word or phrase for something and you end up discovering even more keywords and ideas.

Update (2019-12-11): This project is now a paid service. The keyword data itself is still free, but the volume information is only provided once you purchased credits.

Make your website screenshots look like a browser for free using “BrowserFrame“ is a free online tool to wrap your screenshots or URLs into browser-frames. This way, you can explain your SaaS or websites better on websites or in PDFs.

Tell your story in form of a comic using “StoryTeller“

Communicating your side project idea can be challenging. No one likes websites filled with lots of texts. Visual elements are the way to go. Most people opt for an explainer video to explain more complex topics, but this wave seems to slow down.

An interesting alternative might be the “StoryTeller“ tool. It allows you to create a comic based on uploaded images and add speech bubbles to tell your story. The project is in pre-launch, but it might be worth to follow if you are planning to launch a new project soon.

Earn money with Captchas

Every day we select traffic lights, motorbikes and more for Google. The benefit for the webmasters are a verification that the accessing computer is controlled by an actual human. The bigger benefits arises for Google: labeling their photos for AI and machine learning. In a nutshell: We are doing unpaid work for Google.

Why not using this work done by users on your website to label data for paying clients? This is the approach hCaptcha is taking. You can drop in hcaptcha as a replacement for the Recaptcha service and earn money by solving captchas. Machine learning companies can get their sets labeled easier and you as webmaster have another revenue source.

Closing words

If you like this collection of side-projects you might also like the previous editions: Neat Side Projects No. 1, Neat Side Projects No. 2, Neat Side Projects No. 3 and Neat Side Projects No. 4. You can also find all my side project related posts under side-projects.

If you like to help these makers share and talk about their side-projects. You can also share this side-project list on Twitter or Facebook if you want 🙏️

The cover photo was shot by Ashwin Vaswani. It's available on Unsplash. Thank you!

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