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Posts Tagged ‘Blogs’

Digg Widget Do We Really Need It

July 26th, 2007 4 comments

Digg released a Digg Widget a few days ago. It seems odd to us that no official widget existed before; at the same time it seems odd to us that Digg needed an official widget. This new widget is basically a customiz-ed/able RSS reader (of sorts, see note below). As far as we can remember, Digg has provided RSS feeds for various categories, topics, users, actions, etc. These feeds are pulled into the widget and displayed for the user. Items link back to digg.com as to be expected. Design of the widget is simple and to the point.

Customizing the widget and getting your own is just a few quick steps away. You can choose a few default themes or customize the color scheme yourself. Next, you have the decision of what you want to show in the widget. Such as, all stories, by topic, top 10, by user, among a few others. Lastly, you get to choose what and how items are displayed. Number of items, Digg counts, titles and descriptions are some of the elements you have control over. The preview widget is displayed and updated as you make your selections, which is a nice touch.

The code is presented at the bottom; also as you make your selections. Overall, it is a nice implementation and clean design. As this widget evolves, we believe it will be even better.

However, we do have some reservations about the widget. It’s currently a JavaScript widget, which means it won’t play nicely with most social/controlled networks. Again, this widget seems to be just a RSS reader so why not provide a Flash version? Granted, with security restrictions, the Flash widget may not have much value if you can’t link back to Digg. But, you still get the name and brand out there.

For a completely integrated blog experience, you could just plug the RSS feed into a WordPress RSS widget/plugin. What is the real draw for this widget to a blog owner? If the RSS feeds are already available, then why mess with the additional Digg Widget code?

Or, if you like a completely customized widget (and you have the skill), just find the RSS feed you want and build your own. Or, if you like a RSS widget that already exists, just plug in the RSS feed into your favorite RSS widget.

To be fair, the official Digg Widget is simple to use for the general public. And, we did notice the option to restrict the items to a specific domain. We don’t believe there is a standard RSS feed for that option, so it does seem this widget has additional value that you can’t get on your own. However, this option is likely useless for a small site that doesn’t get much traffic or “diggs.” Only larger sites with digg activity will benefit from this feature.

Note: The Digg Widget is not a RSS feed reader by definition. It does not utilize the existing RSS feeds on the site but rather a new web service API which returns JSON responses. We describe the widget as a RSS reader because conceptually and visually that is what it is.

For additional coverage, check out…

Categories: Widgets Tags: , , ,

Please Excuse the Dust

July 11th, 2007 No comments

We are currently re-organizing the site and applying a new design. The old site was beginning to become a bit of a mess. Our goal over the next few days is to provide a cleaner design and better organization of information. Unfortunately, this means that some pages and information will be removed. In the end we feel that this will help focus the site and provide a much better experience for our readers.

As always, comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Categories: Misc Tags:

Sharing Our Review of Fliva

July 9th, 2007 No comments

We went over to Fliva.com (Share Your Individuality) to check out their widget.

From their FAQ: What is Fliva?

“A way to create a cool widget to post to your web page or community site, or add a link in your email signature to give viewers some unique insights into your personality. Answer a few questions, fill out some favorites, and Publish!”

Registration was simple and quick. Setting up the widget was also a simple process. The setup tool steps you nicely through the tabs and necessary information. We like the “Colorize” slider. It had an adequate number of colors, but a few more shades wouldn’t hurt. When you are ready to “Publish”, you can link to a page hosted by Fliva.com (if for some odd reason you don’t have anywhere to put it), automatically push to a handful of social network/community sites or grab the embed code for yourself.

There are things you can learn about people based on how they answer certain questions. Fliva does a decent job of providing a quick little tool/widget for people to use. And, it looks nice.

However, there were a few things that we felt could have been improved on. We saw the list of additional questions to add, but we did not see where you could create your own questions. The default list is a bit limiting. The “Favorites” list allows for user input, so why not the Q&A?

Another thing that was missing was some size options. It would have gone perfectly with the Colorize feature. This kind of widget seems to lend itself to being permanently displayed. The default 446px widget works well for a basic static profile page. An adjustable or even just a sidebar option would have been nice. With some tweaks, the content is still workable in a narrow sidebar format.

Overall, the setup was painless and the widget looks nice. Just a few minor details would make for a better widget. Lastly, the all Flash interface felt a little sluggish (not sure if it was just us) and more than 10 characters for the Nickname would give users more choices.

Categories: Widgets Tags: , ,

Competitions and Contests

June 15th, 2007 No comments

There are a few contests currently running. If you have some free time, they are worth checking out. Time is running out, so don’t wait too long.

Sandbox Designs Competition (details here)
WordPress theme competition utilizing only CSS to modify the Sandbox theme. Contest ends July 29, 2007 with awards standing at $1650(first), $750(second), $450(third), $300(fourth) and three runners-up with $50 each. If more sponsors join, the prize money could go up.

WordPress Plugin Competition 2.0 (details here)
Weblog Tools Collection is running a WordPress plugin competition. Details are still being worked out, but the competition is set to end on July 21, 2007.

Widget Contest (details here)
Freewebs and Widgetbox announces a widget contest with a Grand Prize of $1000. Entries must be submitted by July 5, 2007. The winner will be announced at WidgetCon on July 11.

Announcement

June 13th, 2007 No comments

As of June 1, 2007, we have officially ended our project engagement with Stickam.com. All this basically means is that we are once again free to discuss and provide services relating to Stickam and its industry sector.

We continue to maintain close ties and relationships with Stickam.

StickiWidgets is an independently owned and run website.

Categories: Misc Tags: , ,