Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Wordpress’

Discovering Music

February 6th, 2007 1 comment

TechCrunch has a pretty good round up of social music sites and services (more than just internet radio). If you like music or like discovering music, you should definitely check out the post. While it’s a good write up, it’s difficult to cover everything so don’t skip the comments. TechCrunch readers have contributed more music sites and services and you don’t want to miss those.

While not a social music site or service, don’t forget we have our own little WordPress sidebar widget for di.fm/sky.fm. The sidebar widget allows you to configure the widget to either display a specific di.fm or sky.fm channel or randomly rotate through the available channels.

blinkx it Review

February 4th, 2007 2 comments

There’s been a lot of news in the past week. You can check with the usual suspects if you haven’t already. Rather than re-hash what others have covered, we decided to take a more in-depth look at the new blinkx it widget. What is blinkx it?

From their web site,

Now, say you wanted to embed a link to some related videos into your blog. With the blinkx it widget you can. blinkx it will retrieve results based on the text it finds on the URL you give it. Even if the website changes, blinkx it will still retrieve the most relevant results for it.

Here is an example of the blinkx it widget with this post as the source of the text.

To get the widget, you can go to the blinkx it page and select a platform. If you choose Blogger or Xanga, you will receive instructions on how to enable blinkx it on those platforms. The third choice is non-platform specific. You will need to enter the URL of the page for the blinkx it widget and in return, you will be presented with the embed code to cut and paste. There are the optional div tags that will help the blinkx engine focus on specific parts of the page to be searched for relevance.

The process is relatively painless and in the cases of Blogger and Xanga, subsequent posts can be automatically or easily enabled for the blinkx it widget. For others however, you will be left to fend for yourselves if you want the widget on multiple posts.

We’ve been testing blinkx it for a few days now. Originally, it began on StickiWidgets but we did not feel that the video search results were as good as we would like. Even adding the div tags to focus the search, we still felt that the results were lacking. In all fairness the subject matter of this site is probably not conducive to returning quality videos.

Overall, we felt that the widget had potential but fell short on a few points. The design of the blinkx it widget was a bit plain and in our testing, the Flash layering on different browsers produced different results. Mainly, the Flash widget would overlay parts of the HTML and result in unclickable links that happen to be underneath. We do not know if this problem was purely on the widget or in part specific to the test pages. In either case, we are not sure that we are sold on hiding the video list until the user expands by clicking the widget. We feel that it maybe better to provide a more customizable widget and display the video list on default, without action from users.

As we mentioned earlier, the search results were not that impressive. To provide a fair evaluation, we added the blinkx it widget to another blog with more popular and main stream content. The second test returned much better results. As blinkx develops and adds to their search, this will improve even more.

Bloggers have questioned the usefulness of blinkx it. In its current state, we would have to agree with them. While it does have potential, it does need some improvements before wide spread adoption among bloggers. For example, we found it unfriendly to have to either grab the code from the blinkx it page or cut/paste and manually edit the embed tag. To solve this problem, we wrote a quick little WordPress plugin that automatically tags each permalink page with the focus tags and generate the embed code at the end of each post. Now, we just need to add options to enable the blinkx it widget per post.

Categories: Widgets Tags: , , ,

Upgrade to WordPress 2.1 Ella

January 23rd, 2007 No comments

WordPress 2.1 Ella was just release yesterday (1/22) and includes over 550 bug fixes in addition to new features. This is definitely worth an upgrade.

We just completed our upgrade to WordPress 2.1 Ella. If you are running WordPress, you should check out the updates and changes. The upgrade process is simple and painless. Just follow the instructions and it shouldn’t take long. Always remember to back up all files and your data before the upgrade. We did not have any problems or issues but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Everything seems to be working so far and all our plugins and widgets are functioning correctly. No tweaks or new plugins were necessary for our upgrade. However, you should verify your other plugins to make sure they will work with 2.1 before starting the process.

Good luck…

Categories: Misc Tags: ,

Everyone Should Have Laughter in Their Lives – Presenting the New bLaugh Widget

January 5th, 2007 No comments

Chris Pirillo posed a semi-challenge to us a while ago. With new work, projects, holidays, etc. We just haven’t gotten around to it. Finally, here are the results of the request (more of a nudge than challenge or request) from Chris.

“Glad you liked it. ;) You should totally use our API to create bLaugh widgets for “WordPress, Stickam, MySpace, Friendster, et al” – what say you?” – Chris Pirillo (2006.11.26)

Yes, that was from a long time ago. Hey, better late than never. So here you have it. Drum roll please… Presenting the bLaugh widget…

[Widget removed, no longer supported.]

This is a flash widget that allows anyone to cut and paste the code below to any site (most sites any ways). It will present the latest bLaugh comic on load and allow you to cycle through the 20 latest comics from bLaugh. Clicking on the comic image or title should take you to the bLaugh page for that comic.

Tested and working with WordPress. You can use embed to put on a MySpace profile. However clicking on the comic or title will not take you to bLaugh.com. This is a security measure put in place by MySpace. We are currently working with Stickam to get our domain and widgets white listed for their site. Should not be a problem, just a matter processing the request.

This is a very basic widget so feedback is welcomed and enhancements will be made, time permitting.

Update: Stickam has approved our request for allowing our widgets on their system. However, they also employ the same security measures as MySpace. As a result, we have added a couple of simple links to the code for both bLaugh and StickiWidgets. We ask that you include the links when you use the widget.

Update #2: We have updated the widget for site like MySpace and Stickam that insert the tag allowNetworking=internal on the embed. Go to the bLaugh Widget page for the new code.

Stickam WordPress Sidebar Widget – Minor Bug Fix

November 26th, 2006 2 comments

We discovered a minor bug in the Stickam WordPress Sidebar Widget. If there is more than one chat room with the same name, the Chat Room Monitor would display both with incorrect formatting. We provided a quick fix that corrects this problem. All chat rooms that match the name specified will now be displayed correctly with the latest version 8.

You can download the latest version 8 from the Stickam WordPress Sidebar Widget page.