Monday, February 9, 2009

Which Widget? (Thing 25)

Thing 25 encourages users to add widgets (or gadgets) to our blogs. Thing 25 tells us that widgets are, "little bits of code that you embed in your blog or Web site that let you display content from other sources, such as embedding a YouTube video or you may have added a gadget to your blog to enable the display of recent posts or your blogroll." There were so many tools listed for us to try that I got overwhelmed pretty fast. It was too much to try in one thing. I spent (wasted?) a lot of time looking and playing around with the various tools and I finally had to tell myself to stop because I simply didn't have a much time to spend on this thing as I'd like to. So, here's what I looked at, played with, tried, erased, used and posted...

  • I tried to use Outbrain. Outbrain allows a user have star ratings on a blog or for blog postings. I thought it looked fun and tried to get it to upload, but no matter what I did I couldn't get it to work. I could get the code to load into a sidebar, but not into each invididual blog posting. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out. I might go back and play with this one.
  • I looked at gVisit.com in order to take a look at a mapping tool. It maps where visitors to your blog are from and shows them on a map. I like the way this map tracking widget looks better than the Clustrmap option; I think I just like the pin dots better than the circles the Cluster map offers. However, the downside to this tracking tool is that you cannot post the map to your website, whereas with Cluster map you can post it right to your blog and see it right there. gVisit makes you go to a website to see the map. I'm sure I could figure out a how to get the page to show on my blog (another widget), but isn't that the point to not have to do that?
  • FlickrCC search Flickr for Creative Commons licensed photos that can be used on the web for free. Just for kicks I looked to see what Jane Austen photos there were. What do you know? There were many and I've posted one. I chose this one because somewhere in my photo collection from college I have this exact same photo from when I was in England. It is of Jane Austen's grave stone in Winchester Cathedral:) Someone also had a bunch of photos of their Jane Austen action figure posted. Too bad my figure is act work...
  • FreeFoto was another site that I am going to add to my toolbox for places to go for pictures. It is a great site!
  • I added a Subscribe button from Addthis.com. This site was easy to use and simple.
  • Typealyzer was a just for fun site that supposedly tells you what your personality type is just be analyzing the posts on your blog. I didn't think it matched me and my blog very well at all. :)
  • I also added Snap Shots to my blog. It allows readers to mouse over a link and a popup window then shows what that link looks like. It's like a visual preview button. I like this feature a lot and initially got confused by my old blog at WordPress did this automatically and I couldn't remember that it was WordPress and I kept thinking that my blog already did this. But alas, it did not automatically, so I installed this one.
Overall, I had fun playing with this thing. I also added a Gadget found on blogger at the bottom of my blog. Now I have changing Jane Austen quotes! YAY! While this Thing was fun, I think it was a bit heavy on the sites and widgets to checkout. There could have been half of them! I spent way too much time puttering with this stuff--simply looking at all of them and then to try some of them out added even more time.

1 comment:

Ms. Charlton said...

Thanks for sharing Snap Shots! I like this one. I do wish that there were fewer advertisements, but it is a start!