Posts Tagged widgets

Google Friend Connect Enabled

2 December 2008

I signed up a while back as I wrote about in this post for the google Friend Connect Preview and today got a mail that this site had been whitelisted to use it! While not replacing any of the login information of this site, its more an added feature letting you sign in to certain features of this site with using your Google, Yahoo, AIM or OpenID account info. Its not incorporated into the core of wordpress which powers this site, it’s rather an added set of gadgets, or widgets if you prefer, such as the “shout out” box there to the right to let anyone post a quick comment or say hello. They have only a couple of gadgets available at the moment including a “rate it” gadget, with the promise of more to come, both from Google and independent developers. I was looking at several of these “shout out” widgets to use before , but most of them have so many proprietary links to ads ands services that i wasn’t interested. This is a very simple one, just comment and post! I have found over the years that no matter how easy it seems to me to post a comment to these blog entries a lot of web surfers really are just passing by and don’t have the time or know-how to do it. Well i think this one will work out well as most people I know have one of these id’s and it only takes a single click to join the site or sign in. As i mentioned its an early release so I don’t know if its available to the general public yet or not, I’m assuming so, but you know what that entails ;) It only took me a couple of minutes to get it set up on this site, the first step was to upload two files to the root of the server which lets the code work around the site. the next step was verify the files were there and the next was to generate the code for the widgets, its already set up on a default size so its only a few seconds to use that and have it running on your web-page. In my case i spent a few more minutes customising the colours to match the site. I chose two of the gadgets, a member gadget, and the comment gadget. I may play around with some others if they can do something that I don’t have already at my fingertips. I did run into a problem trying to post the code into a post- it wouldn’t work. Putting it in the sidebar widgets though was smooth as silk, worked instantly. I think it is a WordPress specific problem as the sidebar is generated from a different directory that the post contents… I think.. well I’ll play around and see what I can do with it. Just as it is now I like it as a simple way for friends to say a quick hello. I’m sure though thats just the tip of the iceberg though. so check it out and say hello! I don’t know what the plans are for these hosted blog programs like blogger and the like as right now you have to be able to upload files to the server. But I see it somehow being incorporated into blogger very soon and actually transforming that into something similar to myspace or facebook! , well the social connection part anyway.

I want a leg lamp!

30 November 2008

I was looking around that SpringWidgets place where I got the countdown widget and ran across this one! This thing reminds me of the movie “A Christmas Story” as Ralphie’s Old Man won a leg shaped lamp as an award at his work. What man wouldnt want one of these, no matter how tacky?! lol Men are really dumb creatures. But easily amused too. ;)

<–by the way, if you click on the chain the lamp lights! ;)

Yet Another Theme Change!

27 July 2008

And I pray the last~ lol First of all , apologies to anyone visiting the site the last couple or evenings and being suddenly lost in a  completely different layout from one page to another, or one visit to another! :o) if you’ve been here within the last few days you may have seen or read the post where I had some trouble with the original theme just having a few bits of trouble with the latest WordPress upgrade, nothing major but it threw off the look of the sidebar widgets just a little bit, well no one would probably have noticed but me, but its those little things get on my nerves, I dont mind if most of the posts I make are lacking any real depth or information, but I want the site to look right at least. Well I have had my eye on this template now for a long time, the link to the original is still in the footer as it is mostly their work still. The only trouble was that it wasn’t ‘widget ready’ as it was advertised to be. Well yes it had a sidebar that could be edited manually, but I wanted to be able to use the widget administration capabilities available with the last couple of versions of WordPress. Just makes it simpler IF I do change a theme, the widgets are carried over to he next template without a lot of work. anyway I confess to not having any grand knowledge of the workings of a wordPress template. Well some of it. I’m fairly adept, if I say so myself, at playing around with the CSS and even adding a few codes here and there. But when it came to understanding how to make the sidebar widgets ‘editable’ (if that’s the word) from the admin area I was clueless. Well I have had this template now a few moths I think, even had the image header set up and couldn’t wait to use it! it was only then after I uploaded and activated it I realised it wasn’t working 100%. Well i have looked and looked how to widgetize a sidebar and to be honest i was lost trying to understand what to do. So that’s the reason I had that other theme going and I made that header image that I thought was very artistic :) Well you can see where the inspiration of it came from, I had this header image already in my head and really wanted to use it. Anyway this evening I was sitting around just messing with the site and css and the thought struck me… what if I replace the sidebar php page of this theme with one from a theme that had a single simple working sidebar already in place. My first attempt was a bit disappointing though. the sidebar appeared at the top of the page and that wouldn’t do. Well i got to looking at a few of the sidebar php files of a few different themes and happened to notice that most all of them had a specific ‘id’ in the HTML division tag at the beginning… EUREKA! I changed the id to the original one called for, refreshed the page and I was ECSTATIC! :) Can it really be this simple?? Oh I love this theme, even more than the one I had up originally. Its everything I wanted, a prominent place to show my Alison Michelle and me together first, then the layout is clean and simple and, to me, very easy to navigate and view the content too. The color scheme is pleasing to me as well. I just like it period. this is the one I will keep, just pray I don’t run into any trouble by failing to fix something else I don’t know about yet. Well as always with these theme changes, if you notice anything out of whack anywhere or any errors you encounter, please let me know. I’ll see what I can do to straighten it out.

Feedjit

24 May 2008

I was reading my friend Mike’s blog, The Top of Texas Gazette, the other day and he had found this very cool widget from Feedjit. Its a live traffic feed widget to add to your website, and though its not giving you as much information as a full fledged tracking tool such as Google Analytics, its really a great tool to see quickly where your traffic is coming from and it works very close to real time, well with each page refresh. Mike’s always having some really clever finds posted to his blog as well as a lot of humour, good music, great photo blog posts and even the serious posts as well, a little something for everyone there in the panhandle of Texas, so have a look sometime. ;) Tell him G sent you

The widget is easily customised to incorporate it into your own site or blog. Its a handy tool to see at a quick glance where your traffic is coming from. As he mentioned in his post, he knows where his friends live so he can see at a glance who has dropped by and the same with me, If I see a hit from Lemesos, Cyprus, and I know fairly well thats my baby or one of her friends, and of course Amarillo, Texas is likely Mike. But generally the cities that show are I am guessing where the local traffic from the surrounding areas is routed to. For instance I know he doesnt live in Amarillo, just its the closest relay to him. (I dont know if relay is the correct term but I’m using it ;)! ) Its pretty neat and pretty accurate too. The only thing I can see is it only will show where you came from if you actually select a direct link form some site, just typing in the address wont show up, neither will it show where you left off to unless its a link on the site you are on. . Well its still a great tool I think and I was going to add it to our site on blogger, but my baby beat me to it! Oh she’s getting good now with this sort of thing :) Well I like to think I am teaching her some things , but I think she picks up things a lot better than she lets on ;) It doesnt seem to add much time to loading a page either which is nice, as I already probably have just a few too many things there in the right column as it is increasing the load times and the overall consensus is already saying WordPress is a bit slow to begin with.

I mentioned above about it not showing actually the city you are living in but where the connection is made to the internet. In my case I live very near t the coast of northeastern North Carolina in a town called Grandy. the first time I saw the feed on Mike’s site it has me in Raleigh, NC and yesterday it was showing me in Kenly, NC and today its saying Lillington, NC. Well I have never even heard of either Kenly or Lillington!Well I had to look them up then to see where they were.

Map image

This pin on the far left is Lillington, the next one to it is Kenly and the one in the upper right is where I actually live so you can see its really not so accurate but only to a good size area. Not that it makes a difference really as you know generally when its someone you already know pretty well.  (I love this map feature in Live Writer by the way)

The biggest advantage it has is you can see at a glance when you have had some hits from say a search engine or another blog and what people are actually reading on your site.