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Bloggy Widgets

Show your online status

So maybe you want the people you know to see if you’re online for a chat while they’re looking at your blog. After all, isn’t it easier to share ideas in a messenger window rather than making a long comment thread on those posts? Now you can using the online status widget IM Online. The IM Online status widget is powered by, and supports AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, ICQ and Skype. You can pick and choose which services you want to be shown.

The download is available at:
mutube - the IM Online download link
Alternate download link

To use, you have to unzip the downloaded package and drop the IM-online folder to your Wordpress plugins folder. Then it’s simply a matter of activating the plugin, dragging the widget to your sidebar, and configuring the settings. Of course, it’s important to remember that your IM service must be set to allow strangers to view your status, because otherwise it defeats the purpose! And in case you have more than one account on a network, you can add both usernames in the admin panel. The only known issue with it involves the servers that might find it hard to locate you. Fortunately, the latest release now allows you to choose a secondary server in case the first doesn’is down.

Maybe you don’t like the default icon pack? You can always download some of the additional icon packs to match the look of your blog. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can even make your own! Just save them with as gifs with the appropriate name and load them into the plugins/im-online folder.

Gaping Void Widget

From Hug MacLeod’s Gaping Void Blog:
hug macleod's cartoon
(This image has been taken from the Gaping Void blog, a creation of Hugh MacLeod. This is posted only for the sake of showing you a sample of his work. For more, please check out his blog.)

Are you a fan of Gaping Void? You know, those witty cartoons drawn at the back of business cards… If you are, then get this widget by Paul Farnell. It’s really nifty and easy to use. You just have to go to the widget page and select the size you prefer. These are the available widths:

Check out the measurement of your blog’s sidebar before deciding to use any of these sizes. Or if you think that you’d like to use a bigger sized image, go ahead and select a bigger one. Just don’t forget to change your blog’s layout so that there wouldn’t be much conflict in terms of sizes. Check out the different sizes on this page. Just so you are really sure about how it would look like on your blog.

If you also prefer that your blog would only show those cartoons without the adult language, you could also do that by checking that box just above the javascript that you have to cut and paste on your blog. Looks easy? It is!

About Gaping Void
These are cartoons made by Hugh MacLeod. He is a marketing and blogging consultant for Stormhoek. Aside from the consulting gig with Stormhoek, Hugh MacLeod also has consulting gigs with Thingamy and The English Cut. It just so happens that he really enjoys drawing and sharing these witty cartoons on the internet. As such, the widget is indeed one more way that he could do that.

About Paul Farnell and Salted
Paul Farnell is from Salted, a group of freelancers who give you affordable blog design and such related services. If you really want to be like a blogging pro, it’s time to check them out.

[tags]humor,gaping void,blogs,widgets[/tags]

Going the Widget Way in WordPress MU


If you are using WordPress MU on your blog so that you and your friends could have fun blogging and sharing the costs of the hosting and domain, you sure could also have fun with WordPress widgets! Blogging doesn’t have to be routine or boring. This is especially for those of you who are into blogging about your businesses. You could be a social butterfly on your blog so that you could a truckload of readers!

In any case, you could go use widgets in WordPress MU. One of the sites that I have personally used and seen have widgets there. It is actually the site I accidentally got into, thanks to DrMike. Anyhow, if you are interested in using the widgets plugin, just follow this discussion.

You basically have to install the widget plugin and activate it. Without the activation, it is practically nothing. You have to make sure it’s running just fine. You could test it soon after so that you know what it is like to have all these possibilities. Sometimes you might miss out on different details.

An example of a site using WordPress MU and doesn’t seem to have much trouble with the widgets, could be found in anywhere. One of them is The different widgets are already on the server. They are just waiting for someone to play with them widgets, meaning to select them and make sure that there are no ways to weasel out of it. You could simply let it be for a while. Who knows? You might even be the master contractor? :)

Monitor Your Blog Via the Widget!


There’s this awesome service called What it does is basically monitor a site’s uptime and downtime. If you are concerned about that, especially if you find it a critical need to make sure that your blog is up and running. If you have a lot of readers visiting your blog, this is very important! Of course, having downtime is really terrible in the sense that it is inconvenient for you too. if you have not experienced downtime yourself, that’s good for you. For those who have, you know how it feels to get emails wondering what happened to your blog, if your site is already permanently gone. There are so many hassles. to the rescue!

Good thing it is a free service! Hooray! If you don’t have an account on yet, it’s time for you to sign up. ;)

And there’s even a widget for it

The Open Source Initiative site released a WordPress widget that allows you to monitor the performance of particular sites. All you have to do is install the widget and configure it to show the snapshot of your site’s performance. Your blog could definitely use this widget because it is a very handy one. Now who says you have to be on to check on your blog’s performance, right? Isn’t this simply awesome? You could be more and more of a pro when it comes to maintaining your blog with this. ;) Now if there was an easy to use tool or service to find out if someone is trying to hack into your site, then that would be really nifty!

If you find this widget nifty, you could download it here. Also, you could give a hat tip to the people at the Open Source Initiative blog.

WordPress widgets, blogging and creativity

It looks like people are constantly seeing how useful WordPress widgets could be. Considering the download stats. that is. You could see the spike in the graph when it was initially released in late March. What is it about widgets that people can’t help but use them?

WordPress widgets make your blog more visually appealing and also more interactive and informative. You have all these kinds of widgets that interact with other sites like Library Thing and Squirl. You can even include Google Gadgets on your blog so that you have games on it. Even horoscopes are available for your widget (thanks to Patrick Chia). Considering how easy it is to use these widgets, no wonder people keep on downloading and installing them. And without the widgets plugin, this is simply not possible.

Aside from that, development of WordPress widgets and plugins are still on-going. Seems that this avenue for creating widgetized versions of plugins and widget-friendly themes makes people all the more interested. Each of us would like to make our blogs fancier or more reader-friendly and as such we dare experiment with so many things.

Then again, widgets is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. Some people like their blogs as they are. Just the entries, archives and calendar. But now that blogs have evolved to be some kind of content management system for different purposes, you can’t help but be so amazed at everything that has happened and everything people have done to improve it. Who says blogging is just for geeks? Who says otherwise? There’s something in blogging for everyone and it might be the way for people to see creativity in everyone, be it in a geeky way (because of the development of widgets and plugins) or because of the ways they could use their blogs.

Random text widget using Javascript

random textYou could never have too much fun with random text on your blog. Sometimes you get such funky text messages that you would like to share with others. Sometimes you are tickled pink by the literary lines that you read. If you don’t quite feel confident about creating your own widget or editing a WordPress widget, you could always use the Javascript for random texts that could be found on its own page.

It’s really simple, if you think about it. What you do is basically copy and paste the Javascript from that page. Then you could edit the quotes in the quotation marks. You could probably call it your Random Quote widget or Textamizer if you so wish;) If you don’t quite like the random sentences there, you could get inspired by these other sites:

Shakespearean insults - for the literary you! May your blog’s visitors find it amusing…
Geeky quotes - if you really like it all geeky and definitely interesting, this is a site to see.
Firefly quotes - if you are a fan of the TV series Firefly, you could check out this site for a lot of interesting quotes!
Top 25 technology quotes - Yes, more geekery! Need you ask for more?

If you get any quotes from these sites, make sure that you cite them and acknowledge them properly. Better yet, look at the terms of the sites that you will use as a source of your random quotes. You wouldn’t want to mess with people, right? Blog responsibly! That’s the way to blog.

Hooked on to Social Bookmarking? Try This Widget to Spread the Love!

bookmarkIf you are hooked on to social bookmarking and you like tagging all sorts of blog entries and sites, you might as well do it on your own WordPress powered-blog. You could have a way for people to tag your entries on their favorite social bookmarking service by using the Social Bookmarks Sidebar Widget on your blog. If it is on the front page of your blog, it allows your reader to bookmark your blog. If it is on a particular page or blog entry, it would bookmark that particular page or blog entry.

WordPress 2.0+
WordPress Widgets Plugin

Download links:
The Social Bookmarks Sidebar Widget - zip file
The Social Bookmarks Sidebar Widget - targz file

Inspirations of the widget:
Bookmarkit for Typo
WordPress Widget Example by Kaf Under

Similar to:
Sociable plugin for WordPress.

Notes on using this widget:
This is a widget you could use so that you could spread the presence of these social bookmarking services since people who will go to your blog will see the different icons. You don’t have to provide ways to interface with ALL the supported social bookmarking sites. Your blog has to be mainly about your content and not just about these other services. In short, choose your bookmarking service well. No need to get them all. If you are a user of these particular services, choose them. Or if you have a lot of readers using something else, give them the way to tag your entry.

Tagging is fun. Combine that with blogging and you get this! Spread the love.

Collection Widget… from Squirl

squirlSquirl is this cataloging service online. Whatever your collection of things is, you could catalog them all here. Be it action figures, your books, your trinkets, catalog and share them online ;)

It requires that you have a Squirl account, of course. Signing up is easy and quick so you could begin adding your collection here if you are not yet a Squirl user.

There are two versions of the widget. One for WordPress and one javascript version. If you are a WordPress user, you could use any of them. If not, stick with the Javascript one. They are both customizable anyway. It’s probably better to use the WordPress widget version for WordPress users though. So you could make it look more like a part of your blog. You might find the look of the ones generated by the Javascript as too limited.

This widget is so fun to use because you could even show the images of the things in your collection. It could be the weirdest set of toys you have or the gifts you have received over the years. You could keep yourself organized this way. For those who have been using Library Thing and were wishing something similar for their other collections, this is a really cool service and to be able to blog them stuff in your collection automatically on your sidebar is even better, right? ;)

Excited to use this widget? Go download it and share with everyone your mug collection, CDs of games, or your favorite household tools.

Library Thing Widgets

Library ThingBookworm? Love sharing your books online using Library Thing? Or maybe you haven’t even thought of doing that until recently? Either way, here are some funky widgets for you and your book-loving friends.

Library Thing has two widgets. One of them is to display your collection. The other allows others to search through your book collection. Obviously you have to be a user of the Library Thing service before you even think of using these widgets on your blog.

Library Thing is your online catalog. Why would you like to have one? Well, for one it helps you organize your book collection. For another you don’t have to be a librarian to do it because you can even make your own set of tags. After all, you have a particular collection anyway.

Moving on to the widgets themselves, they are easy to generate. You only need to go to their respective widget pages and click on the settings you would like. You could choose the colors for the search widget so that it will blend in with your blog layout and colors. And don’t worry about not knowing the hexadecimal values if you don’t know it because you can click the colors your widgets would use. Also, you could create a widget that would show your books at random, or maybe your collection could show up as a tag cloud. No matter how you would like to customize it, you have the options just there on the page. And there’s no need to worry about it being exclusive for WordPress. You could use it on practically any blog that allows you to add Javascript. You don’t even need a full-blown blog tutorial to use this widget. You could simply follow the instructions on Library Thing.

This is perfect for blogs that talk about books. All those book covers will also appear on the widget if you set them that way. Maybe you could even schedule your blog entry postings so that you could use the recent books option and review those recent books on your blog at the same time! What are you waiting for? Go to Library Thing, sign up and get those widgets ;)

Quote of the Day, This Day in History and Other Such Widgets


Dr. Mike’s blog widgets are simple and nifty. You just have to check them out!

Quote of the Day Widget
Are you into quotes? You would definitely love this widget. There are so many quotes that you could pull from the Internet. It so happened that this widget got it from The Freedictionary site. You would see the quote of the day, as well as the accompanying image.

This Day in History Widget
Like the Quote of the Day Widget, this is accompanied by an image. If you are a history buff, you could definitely activate this widget.

Dr. Mike has actually made a set of widgets based on the contents of The Word of the Day, In the News would also be included in this set of widgets. After all, they have all come from the site. What is great about this set of widgets is that they also work on WordPress MultiUser installs. So if you have WordPress MU installed on your server, you and the other users could use them without much of a hitch. Another good thing about these widgets is that you don’t have to worry about any configurations. You could set the header texts so that you are not stuck with the default ones. When it comes to this day in history, you could be as creative as “Back to the past” or “Backtracks.” For the Quote of the Day widget, you could use “Who said what” as a text for it.

Dr. Mike made use of RSS in the creation of these widgets. Maybe you want to make your own if you don’t quite like the sources he has used for these widgets. It is time to check in to the code and see how things work. Well, if you feel too intimidated, maybe you could ask help from a friend who is into programming.

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