19 March 2007

Widgets, blidgets and gadgets

"Where are you going and what do you wish” asked the old moon of Winken Blinken and Nod.

I've been experimenting with Pageflakes, my personalized start page, and came across some fun little widgets. Widgets are mini web applications you can plug into any webpage. One was a little calorie counter from a site called Labpixies. You input your weight, height and age and then the widget will give you your daily calorie allowance. You can then use the widget to track your diet for the day. Labpixies also have a clock with faces that can be customised with a wide range of images such as scenery, soccer balls etc. With Pageflakes I could quite easily insert these widgets. However I was wondering how I could use these widgets in my blog. A conversation with Judy put me on the right track. In blogger templates, add page element, you can copy the HTML script from the widget into the HTML page element and it will be inserted into your blog.

This made me wonder what other useful widgets were out there in wide wonderful web. A quick search found a site called Widgetbox. Widgetbox has hundreds of widgets that you can use searchable by type and subject. Like blogger you need to sign up to widgetbox and it gives you step by step instructions of how to chose and then insert you widgets into your blog or website. Some of the widgets have been thoroughly tested and rated while others have not, so some may work better than others. For example there was a widget for an information request form. I though this would be a useful addition to the library’s Edlib blog. However, while I could insert it succesfuly in my blog the submit button of the request form doesn’t appear to work. So, I'll be continuing my exploration.

Google has a site also called Google gadgets where you can again find a myriad of gadgets that you can plug into your webpage or blog.

So what is the difference between a widget and a gadget? Widgets and gadgets do the same thing but Google has called theirs gadgets. But you ask - "what is a blidget". A blidget is short for "blog widgets" - a quick way to turn your blog's RSS feed into a widget. But blidgets don't just convert RSS to widgets: they also allow you to add photos, post links, images and audio clips. What's more, you can customize the look of the widget to better suit your blog.

Like Winken Blinken and Nod enjoy your sail through the sea of Widgets, Blidgets and Gadgets


Anonymous said...

They have a useful template for teachers and students which can be added to your tabs. Check this out: http://students.pageflakes.com

We use it at our local school. It's fairly new but I like it a lot.


Joan said...
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Joan said...

I use the Google personalised page. The Add Stuff feature is full of lots of gadgets/widgets and setting up the page is easy as..
Joan Denahy