Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Bibbity, bobbity, bling! The Wonder of Widgets

The challenge--   
1. Add widgets to your sidebar--check
2. Have a visitor tracking widget on your blog--check, check.
3. Spring clean your sidebar--check, check, check
4. Take a walk through your side bar and see what you like--check, check, check, check.

I thought first I should assess the widgets I had so here is my list (some of these are from an earlier blog challenge, but others are recent editions as a result of this Teacher Challenge).
RSS Feed (thank you Will Richardson for helping me understand this at NECC 2007 in Atlanta), Pages (didn’t know I could do this, but I love it!), Introduction to me (with new cartoonized avatar), Email (does anyone use this anymore?), Search Engine for Fresh Fowlers (does this even work if I am not good about tagging my posts?), Clustrmap visitor locator (love to see all those red dots from outside the US and from all over the US, too!),  Blog List (definitely need to update this and keep updating it on a more regular basis), My Personality badge info (this is fun and VERY accurate for me!), a Yahoo avatar of myself (as I hoped I would look after becoming a lifetime Weight Watchers member), Creative Commons License (good thing to have), a Blog Archive link (not very helpful because it only gives the month not the year and I can’t seem to undo that), and finally a K-12 Online Conference 2008 badge (where I was a presenter). Whew, that is tiring to complete the list which leads me to believe I definitely need to do some spring cleaning.  I am getting rid of the Search Engine, the Blog List, the Yahoo Avatar, and the Blog Archive Link.  

Hmm having a really hard time finding widgets that I like that don’t feel like I am cluttering up the sidebar.  I’ll need to go and see what other folks have on their sidebars and see what strikes my fancy.

So I added these widgets. . .  
1. A weekly poll that hopefully my students at UWA and my other blog readers will answer.  
2. A list of books I am currently reading from Shelfari.
3. LinkRolls from My Delicious
4. My tag cloud from My Delicious

So what do you think about my additions? Is my page too cluttered with widgets? I am really looking for some feedback. I get too addicted to new gadgets/widgets so I might need reigning in!


Kathryn Trask said...

I like that you kept your personality widget. I think that is so cool! I like your poll idea and the shelfari. So thats what I voted for!

Denise said...

Laurie, I like your name and header. I saw many new widgets on your blog, and I like them. The jury is still out for me about sidebars and what is appropriate. I guess I haven't paid much attention to them before this activity. I like your Delicious recently bookmarked widget. I think that can be helpful to see what is important to people. I also liked your personality profile. I've never seen that one. (I'm an INTJ--very different than you! You're more like my husband's temperament!)
Good work!
Denise Krebs
Dare to Care

Laurie said...

Thanks to both of you for your comments. I am at FETC now and so my Delicious account is in a constant state of update! :)

I also like the shelfari feature with the book covers. I guess I just love visual stuff.


Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie, I do not think that your page is too cluttered at all. I am a busy persona and I like a busy sidebar. Your posts are still the 'stand out feature' and if posts interest me, then I like to look around the sidebar to learn more about the blogger.
However, if I could suggest one thing, I would put the search bar (within your blog) back in. I personally use that time and time again to find posts that I have written in the past on a particular topic. It also allows me to see whether you have written any posts on a particular topic as well.
I really think the sidebar should be customized by the blogger and should feature what they wish it to. So, yes, I like yours.