A Consuming Experience

Thoughts on my experiences as a consumer of products, services, people (well maybe not that last one...), from reviews to raves, rants and random thoughts - concentrating on technology, gadgets, software, product usability, consumer issues, customer service. Including some introductory guides and tips on various subjects (like blogging!) which stumped me until I figured them out. And the occasional ever so slightly naughty observation.

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New Blogger (Beta) widgets collection: Technorati and other widgets for your blog, with one click; tagcloud CSS

Monday, April 23, 2007
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I'm now pleased to unveil... the Magical Sheep Spring Collection of New Blogger Widgets! Designed for the cool New Blogger about town who wants to grab some widgets for their blog using New Blogger's neat Add Page Elements feature. Brought to you by the Magical Sheep team, Kirk and Improbulus.

Yes, you too can now add a widget to your blog simply by clicking a button or two and dragging the widget in Layouts, if you're using the now feature complete fancy New Blogger, formerly known as Blogger Beta. G'wan, whatcha waiting for? (Produced since people can now make and share their own widgets to enable bloggers to easily add third party widgets to their blog layouts with a few clicks without having to know any coding, e.g. the Bluepulse widget.)

The widgets collection

At the moment, the collections page just has Technorati stuff for widgets relating to the blogosphere search engine Technorati, plus links (for completeness) to some clever widgets etc for New Blogger by Kirk:
I thought it would be helpful to have a bunch of widgets together on one page, and I do plan to add to the list in future. More importantly, I'm using Google Pages for those Add widget forms because Blogger is still messing up the code on this blog on publishing when the forms are within a Blogger post, so if you tried the buttons from my previous posts and they didn't work, that's why - sorry about that, they should work fine on the new page.

Technorati tag cloud design; Technorati bugs

Now, more on the Technorati tagcloud. The comment by Tantek Çelik (Technorati's chief technologist) about how to get the cloud to look better in my blog was helpful, but it only applies to my specific blog. Your mileage may vary.

Far be it for a novice still finding her way to beg to differ from a CSS guru, never mind one who's had a hack named after him. But I still think Technorati could have, and can yet, make it easier for us mere users, especially non-CSS experts (which means most of us!) to tweak the format of the Technorati cloud to tie in better with the designs of their own individual blogs - as Delicious have done with their own tag cloud. For more details, see further my response to Tantek's comment, which I won't repeat here.

I'd be interested to know what others think of this issue, and of course whether Technorati will be improving things at their end. It's great that David (I assume that's Dave Sifry, Technorati CEO though he seems to have a different Blogger profile now) has just reported that a bug causing legit blogs not to be indexed has finally been fixed.

But I won't be holding my breath about stuff like styling clouds, given that their ongoing problems with tags is still extant despite David's acknowledgement of my bug report and assurance way back in February 2006 that they'd get to the bottom of the issue. Now that he's reporting on the state of tags as well as the blogosphere generally, surely it's more important than ever that Technorati should be accurate in its recording of tags. Which it won't be, if it still keeps inexplicably missing out on picking up the tags from entire posts on reams of blogs.

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6 Comment(s):

A word about your Categories Widget (Manual Coding). I have used a version of it for some time on my blog


I think that many blogs are becoming publishing outlets that require tools for content organization different from that offered by traditional blog platforms. Temporal sequence of posts is not so important for me. I often go back and modify posts.

I made another blog that is designed as a catalog:


Here too, temporal sequence of blog items is not of the first interest.

For that reason, partially manual table of contents widget sure will be essential.

Maybe I should have a manually crafted 'best content' widget combined with an automated blog archive. I have not decided yet. In any case I want full control over the presentation of my blog.

(By Priit Parmakson, at Tuesday, April 24, 2007 6:34:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Thanks for your comment Priit, I assume you intended to write about this post.

I agree, it's best to have more than one navigational method. Manual is an awful lot of work though, I've not been maintaining mine for yonks now. I would if I thought people used it. I don't know how much they do..

But yes, full control is always always best, I agree too!

(By Improbulus, at Saturday, April 28, 2007 11:03:00 PM)  Edit Comment

Thought I had taken a wrong turn for a second..but I'm in the right spot. :-)

I can't wait until the models hit the catwalks in Paris and Milan wearing their New Spring Widgets, they'll look smashing!

(By kirk, at Monday, April 30, 2007 5:01:00 AM)  Edit Comment

Heh well if they're wearing the New Spring Widgets they won't be wearing much will they, given how relatively small the collection is at the mo.

Which I suppose is exactly your point. Yeah, bet you can't wait...!

(By Improbulus, at Tuesday, May 01, 2007 9:00:00 AM)  Edit Comment

Well, a couple of strategically placed widgets is all a girl really needs. Personally I hope the models have a sandwich or something before the spring widget showing...they are a little too skinny for my tastes.

(By kirk, at Wednesday, May 02, 2007 7:36:00 AM)  Edit Comment

A couple? Shurely you mean, errr, three? Or even four?

Though I s'pose it might well be that just a couple's enough, in the case of skinny sandwiches-less models..

(By Improbulus, at Wednesday, May 02, 2007 10:16:00 PM)  Edit Comment

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