Archive of "Widgets"

Archive for the "Widgets" Category

Feed Links Widget

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As promised, here is the revised version of my Feed Links Widget. Just click the button and follow the wizard!

Some Notes
Due to circumstances beyond my control, if Blogger changes the URL format for feeds this hack will break (and I will, of course, speed to fix it 😉 ).

If you want to make it easier for others to add this hack, clicking the button below will add the button above to your sidebar.

Google AJAX

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Google AJAX is an interface for Google search that allows you to get the search results AJAX-style. This can be really handy when doing a series of quick searches. Better yet, however, is the widget that comes with it. Simply cut-and-paste the given code into your blog sidebar and you have inline Google search power — the results are displayed right in your sidebar! You can also (optionally) specify a URL to restrict the search to, thus creating a widget to do an AJAX-style search on your own site using the power of Google right from your sidebar! You can see an example of this in my own sidebar. The script is built using the power of YubNub.

Include Feeds / Reading Lists in Your Sidebar

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Including headlines in your sidebar is an old concept, one that can be very useful to both you and your readers. This post will by no means be a comprehensive list of methods, but I will outline what I feel are the ‘top 4’ ways to do this.

Peek-a-boo Headlines
Peek-a-boo headlines are a part of my version of FreshTags and may be coming to primary FreshTags eventually as well. I may soon be releasing a version of the hack that works well without a FreshTags installation. I really like this method because my blogroll still sends out link-love and for FreshTags users you get context-sensitive headlines.

FeedDigest is an old friend of mine. The first-ever feed-to-script service I used was RSSDigest, the forerunner to FeedDigest. The service provides excellent features, including the ability to mix feeds together into a single digest, include scripts for JavaScript or PHP, and an RSS mashup feed of your digest. You get 100% code control over the output as well as the many prefab templates for newbies. The only problem here is that you can only run 5 digests — any more and you pay.

Feed-o-Style is a newer cometitor to FeedDigest. You don’t get nearly the code control and there are no feed-mixing options, but their prefab templates are nice and customisable for most purposes. The only include option is JavaScript. There is also an ‘API’ by which you can generate feed-o-styles from a script.

Grazr is a different sort of service. Their code is barely customisable and again the only include option is JavaScript, but that’s because the whole system runs using AJAX-style operation. Headlines from a feed can be included in your sidebar, or an entire OPML reading list can be rendered (XOXO not yet supported, see my sidebar for an example). ATOM feed support seems to be missing as of yet, and there are some other issues (mostly caused by the unreliability of implementations of the OPML ‘spec’) but overall it is a very interesting start.