Sunday, February 6, 2011

To use or not use...Widgets

Before Activity 7 (Kick Start Your Blogging), I had played around with the sidebar and widgets.  Let's take a "widget walk" through my blog...kinda like a "picture walk" before a read aloud.

The tour begins with my Voki.  The first time I created my Voki I used a computer generated voice. However, in an effort to show more of a personality, I went back and recorded the message using my own voice.  I hope it encourages visitors to leave comments.  I am definitely guilty of reading and moving on.  One of my blogging goals this year is to leave meaningful comments on the blogs that I follow.  I want to join in the conversation.

Next stop:  Subscribe.  Based on the recommendations of in Activity 7, I added a Feedburner subscribe widget.  Following the directions from Sue Waters, it was easily accomplished.  I also added Subscribe by Email option for those that don't use a Reader.  (My favorite Reader is Google Reader because I can get all the posts from my favorite blogs and Twitter in one place.)

As the tour progresses, Labels is in sight.  Labels:Blogger:Tags:Edublogs.  I really like Labels because it lets me see what I am writing most about.  It is also easy to find all the posts on subject in one click.  Sometimes I feel that I have the memory of a goldfish, so I can remember what I wrote.  Labels makes it easy to find.

Everyone, please look below and you will see "Blog Archives."  The stand out here is that I can see that I wrote more posts in January 2011 than I wrote in the whole year of 2010 and only two less than the entire year of 2009.  I have come a long way through the Kick Start Your Blogging Challenge.

Next stop is "Human Calendar."  As I read comments for Activity 7, I noticed many people didn't have much use for a Calendar widget.  Human Calender is on my sidebar purely for my entertainment.  I can never remember the date and now I can see it in an interesting fashion.  I can't remember the blog where I first saw the human calendar.  If you use the human calender, please, leave a comment and tell me why you decided to use it.

We are closing in on the end of our tour (three widgets left) with a stop at My Blog Roll.  This is the place that I like showcase the wonderfully informative blogs that I have found and like to read.  If you have a recommendation, please leave a comment.

Next is Followers.  I am fortunate to have two and it really warms my heart to know that someone out there cares enough to read what I am thinking.

Last stop on our journey is ClustrMaps.  I found this widget through Activity 7 and have seen it on many blogs.  Again it is gratifying to know that people all over the world are stopping by.  It makes the world not seem like such a big place.  Thanks to all those who visit.

What widgets to do find useful on your blog?


  1. Hello Jana
    I love how you presented the tour of your widgets, I enjoy readig your blog for your writing style.

    I originally subscribed to your blog because I loved the human calendar. On the tour you walked us through what you put on your side bar and I was able to follow along and added some things to my own blogs. I still have some trouble with the human calendar. Would you be able to help walk me thorugh how you got it onto your blog? I would appreciate it.
    I can do this...Ellen

  2. Ellen
    To get the human calendar to fit into my sidebar, I had to change the height/width to 150. I don't know how you add html code on wordpress but on blogger there is a html widget.

  3. Great descriptions of your widgets! The human calendar is fun! I added a weather widget on my blog - it's fun and serves a little purpose. (: I can see how students would love widgets - I know I do! I also found badges from sites I belong. At first I didn't know what they were, but I soon figured it out - because of this challenge!
    I'm glad I stopped by!


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