Saturday, 11 November 2006

Blogger Beta: rollyerown widgets, one-click add to Beta blogs

My Magical Sheep pardner Kirk, who is THE man in my book (biassed, moi? Never!), has figured out via some new help entries on the Blogger Beta Help pages that you can now create your own widgets for Blogger Beta which other Blogger Beta bloggers can add to their template layouts with just one click, and then drag it to where they want it.

By way of illustration he's created a "puppies pics from Flickr" widget, see the results in his blog's sidebar. Yes, if you want to display photos tagged "Puppies" on Flickr in your Blogger Beta blog's sidebar, you can just add his widget with one click (though I don't think he's made that widget link available publicly yet).

What he has done is to suss out how some more mystifying aspects of Blogger Beta work, and created a widget tester to grab and display all the available blog data in Add Widgets: Title, Page Type, URL, Homepage URL, Page Title and Encoding (here's what the results of adding the test widget look like in a test blog's sidebar, though you can drag it to the bottom of the item page too if you prefer).

Expect an explosion of third party widgets as developers/coders get cracking! I hope that Google or Blogger will provide a central listing and storage place for Blogger Beta widgets, that would be very helpful.

What a lovely, lovely feature of Blogger Beta, and one which may make it well nigh unbeatable as far as blogging platforms are concerned. (Though as Feedburner my fave feed service reported, Fox Interactive Media, who own MySpace, earlier this week launched Springwidgets, Flash-based widgets which can be used on any blog or website as well as computer desktop - more on that to follow - so Google may be in for some competition there. I wonder if the Fox release is what triggered Blogger to make info available about creating third party widgets on Beta? Well, in this corner...)


kirk said...

Just some clarification Impy, the 'puppies' widget is an example provided by blogger in the help files. I didn't have anything to do with that other than sticking the code in me sidebar. :-)

And interested folks may want to check out Ramani's
Random message widget (no Edit HTML!)

As a more useful widget that can be added. Nice job on that one. There should be a lot of cool things people will come up with for this.

Improbulus said...

Well Ok it was their code but you were the one who stuck it in your sidebar as a one click example! Lemme giveya credit when I want to, wontcha?! (I know, I know, bit of a habit of mine, but fully warranted I assure you!)

And thanks for the info on Ramani's widget.