Thursday, March 29, 2007

Web page & blidgets

I found another new toy for my blog and guess what? You will never guess. Give up? It is a widget. However this is no ordinary widget, it is a blidget, a widget of a blog. This morning I was perusing my Bloglines account, reading the feed for Jennifer Crusie's blog Argh Ink. Entertaining as usual, I scrolled down the page, glancing at both the comments and prior entries I may have missed. Along the sidebar of Jenny's blog was a very cool little widget showcasing recent postings on one of her other blogs, the Crusie/Mayer Writing Blog (the recent incarnation of their He Wrote/She Wrote blog from last summer) He Wrote / She Wrote, How to Write. Yes, you read correctly; the little blidget allowed me to read short snippets of several recent posts from another blog (HWSW) on Jenny's blog (Argh). Excellent! I immediately clicked on the widget to learn more.

The blidget came from Widgetbox Blidgets, part of the web site Widgetbox: Widgetising the Web. Just what I imagined it to be, Widgetbox has pages upon pages of coding for widgets to be placed on blogs and web sites. While I could have spent an unknown number of minutes, okay maybe hours, searching for new widgets to add to my blogs, I stuck to the immediate goal and searched for the instructions to create a blidget for myself. My plan was to use a blidget of the resource center book review blog for the general resource center blog and to place a blidget of the general resource center blog on the "new" resource center "what's new" page (along with my LibraryThing widget showing images of recently reviewed books on the book review blog).

It was not difficult to locate the blidget-maker on the main page. I have to admit, unfortunately, my first four tires at creating a blidget were spectaular failures; an error code kept appearing and keeping the code from being generated. At that point I did two things, sent an email to the Widgetbox people and decided to try using Mozilla instead of IE. Both things worked spectacularly as I received an email from a Widgetbox support person (it came within a half an hour of my original query) and successfully created the two blidgets I desired (before I got the email answer, making it moot). Nonetheless, I have blidgets of my very own posted on the web page and a blog.

Yes, the web page. As of yesterday I finished all of the necessary pages and am diligently working on the author information pages required. I am tempted to send the thing over to the university server without every author page done, but it would look incredibly tacky, and I am such a horrific perfectionist with the page that I chickened out. This afternoon I finished seven more author pages: Joan Bauer, Eric Carle, Beverly Cleary, Robert Cormier, Bruce Coville, Sharon Creech, and Christopher Paul Curtis. Searching for database/journal articles on these authors I found out Beverly Cleary is 90 years old and Robert Cormier has passed. Tomorrow, I might get out of the "C's."

I'm not sure I need a blidget on this page. As much fun as I had with it, and even as useful as it will be on work blogs and web pages, things seem a bit odd that you can make a blidget out of anyone's blog. Would you need author permission? Time will tell.

You can bet I'll be checking out the Widgetbox page for fun widgets regardless.

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mumbles said...

I'm glad we were able to help you out. When in doubt, use Firefox. Always a good idea.

BTW, you can promote your blidget by adding one of our Promote Widgets. Just go to your blidget in our gallery and click the Promote link in the header that shows up just for you.

Thanks again for using Widgetbox.

- George

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