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Posts Tagged ‘SpringWidgets’

SpringWidgets RSS Reader Updated

June 28th, 2007 No comments

Not sure when the update occurred, but we came across the updated SpringWidgets RSS Reader as we were researching for another unrelated project. The last time we reviewed the widget, it was a pretty straight forward RSS reader with the ability to customize the header via a partnership between SpringWidgets and FeedBurner.

Since then, (it is completely possible we missed this feature set during the last review) the SpringWidgets RSS Reader has added in-widget support for audio (MP3) and video (FLV) podcast feeds with playback. What this means is that the feeds are displayed as usual, but now you can actually playback the audio or video directly from within the widget via a built-in player.

In addition to the new audio/video player, you can add a custom branding banner without having to utilize FeedBurner. There are also a few more customization options, like a color chooser for the frame.

Using the generic RSS reader is great. However, if you are a publisher and would like your own personalized and branded widget to distribute, you can use the ExpressWidgets feature. ExpressWidgets steps users easily through the process of creating a customized/personalized widget and automatically adds the widget to the SpringWidgets widget gallery.

Now, if they only had widget analytics or did we miss that too?

Browsing around SpringWidgets also revealed quite a few new widgets. While it is still a relatively small widget gallery, it is growing and improving.

Note: The SpringWidgets RSS Reader can support multiple feeds in one widget. We used two widgets to better illustrate each example.

Categories: Widgets Tags: ,

SpringWidgets, MySpace and Fantastic Four Widget

May 25th, 2007 No comments

There is a very interesting widget that was released by SpringWidgets specifically for MySpace. This is not a unforeseen partnership and we’ve pointed this out in the past. SpringWidgets is developed by Fox Interactive Media which links them to MySpace and the new Fantastic Four movie (20th Century Fox). The widget is actually pretty cool. A screenshot is provided but it only works properly on MySpace so we did not embed it.

Once a user has put this on their MySpace profile page, there are some things you can do. Clicking on any of the 5 movie character images will change the profile page theme on the fly. This is done by applying new style sheets temporarily. If the user’s profile page is reloaded, the original style is present. Each character theme also comes with a custom “Super Power” animation that can be activated from the widget.

This is a typical SpringWidget so the standard options and feature exist. You can grab the code and embed this where you would like. However, as we mentioned earlier, this is specifically built for MySpace profiles. If this widget is placed on any other location, the movie themed styles will be applied to the page it is on. But, it will pretty much break the page, unless for some odd reason the page is coded and structured very similar to the MySpace profile page.

It is a very clever widget that is well executed for the intended purposes.

[via Snipperoo Blog]

SpringWidgets Fantastic Four

The Final Four 2007

March 26th, 2007 No comments

It’s been a great tournament so far and it’s come down to the Final Four. It’s a couple of #2 seeds vs. #1 seeds (#2 UCLA vs. #1 Florida and #2 Georgetown vs. #1 Ohio State). These are must see games…

The question this week is, “will UCLA have a repeat of last year’s finals or will they show up and put Florida to task?” Let’s hope UCLA remembers all too well what happened last year and brings it all to the court on March 31st.

Georgetown is back in the Final Four for the first time since 1985 and they look like they’re playing at their peak. Ohio State is going to have their hands full and better watch out. The Hoyas have a long history and tradition. Especially with the win over North Carolina, they’re not just going to let this go without a fight.

Hint: If you want the above widget with the default view on the Final Four. Grab the code as usual, but edit the code param_pDefaultRegionIndex=0 to param_pDefaultRegionIndex=4 (2 locations in the object/embed code, you can ignore the third location in the link code).

Hoops Hysteria March Madness Widget by SpringWidgets

March 15th, 2007 No comments

We came across this widget at Widgets Lab. The Hoops Hysteria widget, from SpringWidgets, displays the 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship Tournament bracket and current results from the games. A nice feature is the ability to search the bracket for a specific team and have the bracket show and highlight the game.

You can also navigate the bracket by clicking on the mini-bracket in the top right corner. It would have been nice if they added the ability to click and drag the bracket around to view the bracket.

Clicking on the game box will open a new browser window to the game summary page on FOXSports.com.

Update: We just noticed something really cool about the widget. It periodically updates itself with the latest game info without having to refresh the page.

Ning Brings Social Networks to the Masses

February 28th, 2007 4 comments

Ning has re-launched with new functionality to make it drop-dead simple for just about anyone to create their own social network. We have spent the last couple of days playing around with the system. To start your very own social network, just sign up and follow a few simple steps. The basic features are all there; layout customization, RSS feeds, forums, member profiles, blogs, videos, images, etc. You can even add widgets and embeds; this is where it excels as you will see later.

This new release actually allowed us to execute on a project that we’ve been planning for a long time. We just never had to time to develop a social network from the ground up. With Ning, we don’t have to. We can let Ning handle all of the technical issues, which will allow us to focus on developing the social network itself. Check out our Ning social network. It will especially interest you if you are a hockey fan.

Our New Social Network on Ning: Center Ice

Our Center Ice hockey network is a bit of a mashup. It’s obviously built on the Ning platform, but it includes additional value add content via the use of widgets. The default RSS feed feature parses the NHL Plays of The Week content perfectly from YouTube. Daily game scores are provided by SpringWidgets Scoreboard. And surprisingly, Ning allows javascript on their system. We have taken full advantage of this and added full game videos using the Google AJAX Search API.

Center Ice also provides three methods of communication among its members. The default forum from Ning is provided for asynchronous group communications and a live real-time video chat room is powered by Stickam. Couple of the StickiWidgets services provides the glue that binds the Ning platform with Stickam. Lastly, each member can add a personal blog to their profile page for member centric communications.

The question is, “Will anyone care?” For the average person, they just want something there that they can be a part of. They are not going to care about the platform or putting the work into creating the social network. However, Ning does provide people like us with the ability to easily build these networks. And ultimately, it’s up to us to bring the users to the network. We applaud Ning for building a system that is easy to use, customizable and open to widgets.

Does it have limitations? Sure. But, not everyone wants to take on the task of building and maintaining the technical infrastructure to run a social network. We are more than happy to accept that trade-off. Now we just need users. So if you’re a hockey fan… Check out Center Ice.

If you are interested, Ning also has a developer program and premium services.

Update (2007.3.2): added Grazr and some hockey news feeds