Tag Archives | widgets

10 Wonderful Web Site Widget Resources

Best Web Site Widgets

There are many services out there that offer widgets you can embed into your own web site layouts.  How do you know which ones are the best?  Well, I am not an expert. Since this is the Internet though, I can pretend.

Here are my top 10 favorite widget related web sites.

Widgetbox – Tons of free widgets to put on your site.

LinkWithin – Post related stories and thumbnails on your web site.

ShoutMix – Free shoutbox/tagboard chat widget.

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Your Twitter Shoutbox

Jotable Shoutbox in Action I always like looking at ways to add new user functionality to any web site out there, and Jotabl does provide that. How so?  By the power of Twitter (not to be confused with the power of Greyskull) it gives you a free embeddable shoutbox for your web site.

Once the shoutbox is added to your site, messages can be posted in it two different ways.  Your users can include the URL to the shoutbox in their tweet, and Jotabl will pick this up and place it in your shoutbox.  Users can also leave a message by signing into the box via Twitter, with the option to have the message tweeted for them.

You also can remove message and block certain Twitter users if they get too crazy with the shoutbox postings.  Now Jotabl doesn’t re-invent the Web, however it does provide a neat feedback interface for your users.  Give it a shot shout at jotable.com.

Google is Connecting Friends

I have seen this Google Friend Connect service coming up more and more via the web sites I visit, so I thought I would look a little more into the service.  Google wants to help you grow traffic by adding social features to your web site.  Now how do you do it?

How Does Google Make Things More Social?

Once you setup a site with Google Friend Connect, you can select from a number of different widgets you can place on your site.  When visitors sign up for your site through the friend connect service, they can do so via their login information with Google, Yahoo, AIM, or their OpenID account. 

The idea here is to make your web site more social.

This video does a good job at giving a good summary of the entire service:

Overall, I think Google Friend Connect is something worth checking out and looking into.  I like the openness of it all, and can’t wait to see more people use it so we can get more widgets developed for it.

24 Personalized Start Pages

Since this is a Monday, figured it might be best to start your week off with the best ways to start of your day – a good start page in your browser.  As familiar as your morning cup of coffee – which of these is your favorite?

  • PopURLs – Uniquely different than the rest, but still have a lot of information to share.
  • My Live – The standard lots of boxes, fill me up type of start page.
  • Protopage – One of the better of the customizable start pages, tons of options and tools.
  • Pageflakes – Another top choice of mine.  Really like the look and feel of Pageflakes.
  • Netvibes – Best of the lesser known selections.  Latest update was kinda disappointing however.
  • Suprglu – Brings your favorite social tools together to create a better start page.
  • 24eyes – At least they didn’t call it 99 bottles of beer on the wall?
  • iGoogle – Google’s recently updated way to start your day.  Quickly becoming a fan favorite.
  • favoor – Notes, news links and more on this lesser known start page.
  • StartAid -StartAid is perfect for saving all your bookmarks online.
  • eskobo – Funny enough, has nothing to do with Eskimos.  Who knew?
  • smplr – One text box to rule them all!  It doesn’t get any more simplier. (or is that smplr?)
  • feedly – Start page + Firefox = Starting Goodness?
  • Widexplorer – Because nobody wanted to use the narrow explorer.
  • Gizi – A clone of the more traditional tons of boxes start page.
  • LinkedFeed – The more you use it, the better it serves you!
  • Fav 2.0 – A thumbnail gallery of your favorite web sites.
  • Widgetop – A fun and colorful desktop-like start page. 
  • BBC Beta – Even the BBC is letting you customize their front page.
  • Webwag – Looks like Netvibes’ ugly and less talented step sister.
  • My AOL – Get your day going with a fresh cup of AOL!
  • Sputtr – At least it wasn’t called stu.. stu… studder.
  • Symbaloo – Wins my most unique award.  Tons of squares to fill in with your favorites.
  • My Yahoo! – Get your news, weather, RSS feeds and more all with a Yahoo!-like twist.

Is it time to change the start page you have been using?  There are many of them out there to choose from.  Secret is, is to find the one that provides the most stuff you need in the best presentation possible.

Get Instant Feedback with Crowd Sound

Get Feedback! Always looking for a better way to get the thoughts of the crowd, I ran across crowd sound.  What is this web site all about?  It is less of a web site and more of a tool to help you uniquely gather ideas and suggestions from your followers.

We all like feedback right?  Here is how crowd sound works.  All you do is sign up for your free account, and then login.  Once you do, you can embed the widget into your web site.  Just copy and paste some simple JavaScript into your own design.

Now with the web site widget, you can add some entries. and then have other visitors vote up the idea or vote down the idea.  So this separates things into the people who want to give you good suggestions and the people who just like to vote for things.  You can also via the widget browse through the most recent or the most popular.

I think crowd sound is delivering a very unique way of looking at feedback gathering from your base.  Those could be customers, they could be readers.  The thing that is important is that you get their views to make your content better.

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Open Google Notebook in Firefox Sidebar

I like using Google’s Notebook feature but the extension they give you is a little lacking. I think it is too small and doesn’t allow me to open and shut it very quickly. What’s the solution? Well I took the Google personalized homepage widget for Google Notebook and added it to the sidebar of Firefox.

Google Notebook in Firefox Sidebar
 
This is much like the “Add Google Talk to the Firefox Sidebar” trick that was so popular a few weeks back.

  1. Create a new bookmark (right-click and select “Bookmark this link…”) for this address:

    http://www.google.com/notebook/ig?hl=__MSG_locale__

  2. Right-click on that bookmark and select “Properties”.
  3. Check the box that says, “Load this bookmark in sidebar” and you are good to go! It isn’t exactly rocket science so everybody should be able to enjoy this one.

Now you have a full note taking application to work with in your sidebar and it beats that tiny default extension Google provides you any day of the week.

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Widgetbox

I just got accepted into the Widgetbox beta, and I have to say from what I have seen thus far, it is pretty slick. It makes it painless to add a number of different widgets to your blog. The only area where it has a problem is the number of widgets available. I would like to use a few, but none of the ones they have really tickle my fancy. I’m sure that will be a problem solved over time though.