A del.icio.us widget

Written by + on November 30, 2006 under Software

sample of how the del.icio.us widget would look like
Blogrolls are awesome for sidebars on your blog. You probably put your regular readings there, or your favorite pro-bloggers. But if you are someone who would like to share things you bookmark and you want them to appear more or less at real time without changing anything on your sidebar, you could check out the del.icio.us widget.

del.icio.us is an online social bookmarking service. It is probably one of the oldest bookmarking services. In any case, it’s easy to set it up if you don’t have one yet. Just go to del.icio.us, sign up for an account and make sure you get the del.icio.us bookmarklet for your web browser. Once you have started bookmarking and tagging URLs and blog entries, you are pretty much ready to use the del.icio.us widget.

If you are a WordPress.com user, it is one of the choices you have and you only need to drag it on to your sidebar using the admin panel. After that, you need to configure it so that you could say how many links will show up or from which particular tag/s you would like your displayed links will come from. Aside from that, you could also put a specific title for your set of links. If you want you could name it “[Your name]’s top 5 links” or maybe something like “Pick of the Week” (especially if you only bookmark using del.icio.us once a week). You could try to be creative with it and call it anything you like or whatever your blog’s theme is. It is after all, your widget on your blog. For all we know, you could call your links “yummy links” as a play on the word delicious!

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Meebo widget for WordPress

Written by + on November 26, 2006 under Software

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Blogging could sure be interactive by adding widgets on your sidebar. You don’t even have to be a super-duper webmaster to add them. On WordPress.com, you could also add your own widgets. If you feel like chatting with the readers of your blog, add the Meebo widget! For WordPress.com users, you could easily drag and drop it from your admin-panel. (And make sure you save the options and widgets you’ve decided to add.) As they just posted on Widget Wednesday it’s MeeboMe! If you feel like chatting with your online readers and buddies without giving your Meebo information, this widget is useful. You have to configure it right after selecting it from your admin-panel. Go to the MeeboMe site for the code you need to paste on the box. The widgets come in three sizes:

  • small – 160px x 250px

  • regular – 190px x 275px

  • super-size – 250px x 300px

And it’s easy once you have your MeeboMe widget configured. You only have to login to Meebo and start chatting with your guests ;) If you haven’t ever used Meebo, that’s alright. You could start using it even if it is only mainly because of your blog. (This is good especially if you want to remain anonymous or something.) You could also IM other people through Meebo, especially if you have a lot of contacts on Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger. It’s how convenient Meebo is and now you have it on your sidebar too! There might be some blog readers of yours who might find it a bit slow though since it’s mainly chatting through a client on Flash. It might be that they have trouble rendering such widgets on their web browsers. You can’t please everyone but at least you give people the option of contacting you through MeeboMe. Place it on your blog now and start chatting!

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Top Commenters Widget

Written by + on November 24, 2006 under Software

screencap of top commenters widget at work

There are blogs which have some really great interaction. In a way, some blogs that have specific topics could be quite hot, in terms of discussions. They become some sort of forums already and there are some very active commenters. If you would like to keep tabs on who are the top commenters on your blog, use the Top Commenters widget.

Nice things about this widget:

  • You could configure the number of people to show.
    Maybe you’d like to have the top 10 commenters. Or maybe just five. That would be one of the things you would have to specify on the widget admin interface.
  • You could exclude some names.
    Your name might be the one with the most counts, right? Especially if you have been answering almost every comment on your blog. It would be quite obvious that you will be one of the top commenters then. If you have a group blog, you might want to exclude the names of the members of your group blog, for the same obvious reasons.
  • This widget has already been tested on WordPress 2.x and recent versions of WordPress MU.

Top Commenters and blogging

The nice thing about blogging is that you have different kinds of information available in one place. Sometimes it is the commenters that help steer discussions in certain directions. Knowing who the top commenters are could help you in gauging who might be the most influential people are in terms of the topics of conversations on your blogs. You might have some experts on your blog’s topic ;)

Maybe it would appear more like a forum if you have this widget but I think that this is nice because it also points out who are the ones who are active on the discussions aside from the blogger/s maintaining the blog.

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Pictures in the Sky: an APoD widget

Written by + on November 22, 2006 under Software

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Do you happen to like at looking at the stars? Amazed at the beauty of the galaxies and craving to know more about the planets and astronomy in general and want to share this love with othes? Use the Astronomy Picture for a Day widget to supply your blog with photographs from the NASA’s APoD site. What you get is a small image (around 150 pixels in width) to put at the sidebar of your blog. Clicking on it will bring you to a page with the photograph in its full glory and a short description of it at the bottom. Not only is it pretty, it’s educational too. Learn more about the galaxies, stars, and space exploration – topics that were mentioned in passing in science courses.

Getting it can’t be simpler! Just download, extract the zip and install like any other widget. What I like about it is each part of the code is commented on, explaining what every section does. It’s perfect for those who want to learn how a piece of code turns into something practical. For those who know want to tweak it to their blogs, you can do it with the comments to guide you.

Where to download: digital meanderings.

Even if you’re not into astronomy, this widget lets you realize that there is more to the skies than the stars and the moon. This is actually his first widget, and any additional comments and suggestions are welcomed by the author. So if you think you can suggest any improvements do drop him a line, and let’s have this APoD widget useful for everyone.

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Know Something? Share It on Your Blog!

Written by + on November 20, 2006 under Uncategorized

knowbrainers

The Internet is an amazing thing! You could easily search for all sorts of answers to the different questions you have in mind. There are all sorts of sources on the Internet and there are so many people who could answer them. The nice thing about it is that you could easily post them on your blog. You could do it with the widget from KnowBrainers.com. You could configure the colors of your widget. This is a nice thing because sometimes it’s difficult to dig up information from so many different sites. If you have been answering a lot of these no-brainers, it is really going to be a big help for others. If you are a trivia buff, you would definitely feel at ease knowing how this widget works!

It is very easy. Just go to the widget page of the KnowBrainers site, get the code and change the colors. It is also no-brainer, as the name of the site implies. You have to see it to believe! The widget is really nifty and you could see the various questions scrolling up the widget box. If you have no account on KnowBrainers, you could sign up for one and you’d surely have fun sharing everything you know with the online community. That is what makes the Internet so fun! You could do this kind of sharing in so many ways: blogging, joining online communities (such as forums, boards, etc.), chatting.

Hopefully, there’s going to be more people who would be sharing their knowledge on their blogs. Don’t keep what you know to yourselves. Keep on sharing them!

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Consuming on All Consuming!

Written by + on November 18, 2006 under Software

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We’re on an interest sharing roll, this time with a widget to display a list of thing you’re enjoying to your blog. Ali Hassan’s All Consuming widget lets you make a list of the books, movies, and music you’ve marked on the sidebar and shows the things you’re “consuming” right now. :) It’s very easy to use. You must have am All Consuming account, a widget-ready theme and the widgets plugin installed. All you need to do is download the file and add it to the plugins directory. This is great for new and experienced users alike. After that you can modify these options:

  • The title that shows up at the top of the list

  • The username for your All Consuming account

  • How many items are displayed on the list

  • The tags of items you want to display. That means it can display a list of music and books you’ve marked in your All Consuming account.

  • Turning the header on or off

  • There’s a little box you can check if you want to show the list of items you’ve consumed. The completed items list is a new feature and for this to work you have to put in the date you’ve completed an item on the All Consuming site.

The titles lead to a link to the All Consuming page of the item, with the reviews and users who have consumed them as well. Any tweaks to the list’s formatting can be done on css, so get those coding skills ready. :D Time to get started on those books, now!

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Show What You’re Listening to with Run For Cover

Written by + on November 16, 2006 under Software

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Do you want to display what you’ve been listening to on Last.fm? I’ve seen wordpress blogs with their last.fm music lists or the album covers but I haven’t seen the widgets for it until today. One of them, the Run for cover widget lets you display the album covers of the music you listen to the most.

This is actually a re-haul of the earlier Last.fm covers widget released last April. The earlier version only checks for the top album feeds of the defined user. The new one now checks for what music you listen to the most on a weekly basis instead. Installation can’t be simpler. Download the latest version of the widget from the honde van Dirkie site. Extract it and save it to the wp-content/plugins/widgets folder on your server. Once you’re done all you need to do is to set it where you want it on your layout and then it’ll do the rest.

Download the zip from this entry.

The newest version even let’s you choose if you want the images to link to Last.fm and Amazon. There’s been little tweaks and additions to make it more customizable and viewing-friendly. For example, a “loading” text is displayed while waiting for the images to load, and if there’s no album cover to be found it gives you a “No images to display” text. I think it’s great way to discover if you share the same tastes in music. Who knows? You might actually find new friends through your music!

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It All Relates Together – A Related Post Widget

Written by + on November 14, 2006 under Uncategorized

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Sometimes you find an interesting post in a blog and you want to see if there are similar entries, so what do you do? Maybe you’ll shift through the categories or type in a search for it, but this can be a time-consuming task. Why not simplify matters by checking if it has the related post widget on the sidebar? This particular widget written by Lefebvre de Saboya is powered by the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin. This particular widget is derived from the UTW Popular Tags widget created by James Carppe.


  • Installation instructions:

    1. Download and extract the zip file from the downloads page.


    2. Save the file to the widget directory. Go to the Admin Plugins page and activate it.
    3. Go to the Presentations Tab and place the newly-available widget where you want it to be. Simple, isn’t it?

    You have the option to change the header that will show up above the list and the number of posts you want it to return. If there are more related posts there is no way to display them. Confident of your css skills? Edit the style.css file and add a utwrelposts class to format the list, and make it match your theme. The important thing to remember is that it relies on your tags, so make sure you tag your posts carefully! Don’t forget what tag foes with what topic. A similar widget that also used the UTW plugin comes from Diwaker Gupta, who brought us the sidepages widget. Isn’t it great to see programmers approach the same problem in different ways?

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  • Slideshow on Your Blog!

    Written by + on November 12, 2006 under Uncategorized

    slideDo you love sharing your pictures with your family and friends? You might use Flickr or Photobucket’s services so you could have a publicly available album on the ‘Net. Some of you might even have a Flickr badge. Do you think that it’s enough that you share it that way or would you like to have other options? Here’s one for you: a slideshow from Slide.com!

    The nifty thing about Slide.com is that you can use the images that you already have on other services like Flickr, Photobucket, even MySpace. (There are other services from which you could get your images.) You simply need to go to slide.com and you will be able to figure out things quite easily. You just go there and select the source of your images. You could even upload the images from your computer. It’s quite easy. Then you click “Done” to save your slideshow. You will be led to a page containing the code that you will copy and paste on your blog’s sidebar.

    Things you could customize:
    Size of the widget
    It could be vertical or horizontal. It could be that you’d set it to be 150×250 pixels. Or maybe even wider if you like.
    Style of the widget.
    You could have it as in sliding images, one after the other. You could also have it swirling on the space. Or maybe even as some sort of collage, with images being posted on top of each other with each iteration.
    Skins
    You could set the color too.
    Decorations
    You could have bubbles or stars. You could even have cute little hearts floating all over the images.

    When you go to Slide.com to create your slideshow, you could sign up so that you could edit it later. If you opt to not sign up, your slideshow is of a fixed set of images. That will be it forever. You could probably try getting another slideshow in that case. You could have your travel pictures on your sidebar soon! Or maybe even pictures of your chilld’s birthday party or first day in school.

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    Messaging while offline

    Written by + on November 10, 2006 under Uncategorized

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    If you’re going out travelling and won’t have a chance to go online often, but you want to keep track of the comments you’re getting in your blog, the Quick SMS widget from mutube might just be the one you’re looking for. It lets your blog visitors to send an SMS message from your service provider.

    Installation

    1. Download the zip from the Quick SMS development page.

    2. Unzip the quick sms package and drop the resulting folder into your WordPress plugins folder.

    3. Log in as your WordPress admin and activate the plug-in.

    4. Go to Sidebar Widgets on the Presentation Tab and drag the Quick SMS widget to the sidebar.

    5. Go to Options and select the Quick SMS tab. This is where you’ll configure it to your mobile number.

    6. Select your network and enter your 10-digit mobile number.

    7. Now go to your blog and send a message to see if it’s working.

    Important: For this to work on most networks, you have to activate the “Email to SMS” capability.

    What shows up is a tiny fieldbox where you can type your message. Charging rates for each message received depends on your service provider. The latest release comes with the ability to restrict the length of the messages you can send, perfect to prevent flooding.

    Other features:

    • To prevent spam comments : confirmation message on sending SMS and block messages sent in quick succession.

    • You can configure the header informationsent with SMS messages.

    Check out the developer’s page to see what countries and service providers lets you use this. So far it’s available to the United States, certain parts of Europe, Japan, and Australia to a total of more than thirty different providers.

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