Wow – thanks everyone. Your response, support and feedback has been incredible! We have set up this page to keep track of your feedback on what you’d like to see covered!
As you can see there are some really great topic areas to get us started. Which got me thinking! The Edublogger is about community, and helping each other. Perhaps you have already covered some of these topics in your own posts? Or you would like to cover a topic(s) in your own post(s)? Let us know by posting the link in the comments below, and we will let the community know!
Meanwhile lets start working through the list! Many readers express interest in widgets, so I have decided this is a good place to start!
What are Widgets?
Web terminology makes it so much harder when people are starting their online journey; suddenly you being bombarded all these foreign terms and widgets are a classic example! In simple terms widgets are mini web applications that you can put onto your website (i.e. blog, wiki, homepage) e.g. the Clustrmap on the side bar is a widget.
How To Embed A Widget
People use widgets to add extra features to their website. But be warned! Choose widgets for your blog wisely because they can clutter your side menu which will distract your readers. My list of “must have widgets” on a blog include:
- Search – so readers can easily search your blog
- Email subscription – for readers who prefer to be notified of new posts by email
- RSS feed – not all feed readers are able to detect the RSS feed from the site URL; this is why I add a Feed burner feed to my sites to make it easier for readers to subscribe
- Categories and Tag Cloud – to make it easier for readers to locate posts on your blog. We will be writing a post soon to explain the difference between categories and tag clouds; and why/how each is used
I also like to add a widget that links to information on how to be notified of new posts; to make it easier for new people to understand how to subscribe to blogs.
Don’t worry! Widgets won’t break your blog. Any widgets you add can easily be removed, and won’t effect existing widgets in your side bar.
To try out widget drag and drop the widget from your Available Widgets to your Side Bar, then click Save Changes and view your site. To remove a widget just drag it from your Side Bar back to your Available Widget area and then click Save Changes.
What Widgets Should I Add To My Blog?
Widgets are PERSONAL. We all have our favourites.
Many educators like to add Clustrmaps, especially those with younger students, because the students loving seeing the red dots grow as their readers, from around the World, visit their site.
Other common widgets bloggers use include:
- Flickr – shows the latest photos you have uploaded to your Flickr Account
- Del.icio.us – shows the latest sites you have bookmarked in your del.icio.us account
- Vod Pod Videos – shows the latest videos you have saved to your VodPod account
- Google Reader Shared Items – for latest items you share in your Google Reader
- Twitter – shows your latest updates from Twitter
Not all widgets can be embedded in Edublogs because some types of code and code that includes Java Script can cause problems. For example, you can’t embed a clip of your shared items in Google Reader because the code includes Java
Script however you can still embed by using an RSS widget!
For those struggling to embed widgets we hope these “how to” tips have helped! For everyone else we hope that you find these tips useful when demonstrating to new people.
Please leave a comment to let us know how you go, and if you need any help with widgets I haven’t mentioned.
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