WordPress plugins and widgets

Meta 4 Comments

Over the past few days I’ve been messing around with my weblog, adding bits and pieces here and there, moving things around, taking bits out. It’s been fun, and eventually I’d like to hack a three-column layout, but I’m done messing with it for now.

While working on it I discovered the interesting new world of WordPress widgets. These are essentially just another type of plugin that adds functionality to your blog, usually by way of pulling in data from somewhere else and displaying it in the sidebar or footer or what-have-you. I played around with a bunch, and these are the ones I’m hanging on to (in no particular order):

Twitter Tools – One of several widgets that displays your Twitter messages in the sidebar. I like Twitter a lot (although I’m not really sure why), so this is a pretty obvious one for me.

Flickr RSS – Again, there are multiple widgets that will pull your Flickr feed into your blog, and this is one of them. I like this one mostly because it worked and I was able to customize it to do what I wanted without having to get too fancy.

Delicious cached++ – Lists your most recent delicious.com shared bookmarks. I figure I’ll use this as a way to highlight interesting bits and pieces I find around the Web. I used to do a daily autopost of recent links and stuff, but I decided that those sorts of things generally annoy me. This’ll do.

Turns out the delicious plugin I was using? Totally, totally broken. I’m going to have to dig another one up. Boo.

Now Reading – I’m still trying to figure out how to customize this one because the default state tends to take up an awful lot of room (mostly because I’m inevitably currently reading more than one book (usually 3-4)). I’ve banished it down to the bottom of the sidebar for now.

Disqus comment system – This is an interesting new service that basically provides third-party support for comments on your blog that also lets you track your own comments and discussions on other websites (that use Disqus, of course). It’s…interesting. Needs more users, I think. If it ever hits critical mass, it could be fantastic.

Sociable – By far the best utility I found for adding social bookmarking links to posts and web feeds. It installs easily, is a snap to configure, and just works. Exactly what I wanted in a nice neat package. Great plugin.

Everything else you see over there on the right is put together with default WordPress widgets that are included when you first install the blog software. I’ve got the about:mozilla web feed over there because that’s the other blog I work on the most. My Friends list, while incomplete, was re-added because someone else relied on it (hi Mom! :) ). Recent comments is currently under evaluation — I’m not sure it’s valuable enough to warrant that sort of real-estate. It probably doesn’t. We’ll see.

Evangelism

Evangelism, Work No Comments

“Evangelism is making people believe in your dream as much as you do.” – Guy Kawasaki.

I like that definition a lot.

about:mozilla needs you!

about:mozilla, Evangelism, Mozilla, Work No Comments

about-mozilla-banner

about:mozilla is a blog and weekly newsletter that focuses on the major news items related to the Mozilla Project. These news items can really be about any aspect of the Project, ranging from development news and schedules through marketing and community events. For an idea of what sort of news we cover, just check out the blog or the past issues.

We’re looking for help. Do you follow or are you involved in a particular part of the Mozilla Project? Do you think there’s news and information about that part of the Project that deserves to be included in the about:mozilla blog and newsletter? If so, please send a note to about-mozilla at mozilla.com. Ideally you will include a snappy headline, a short version of the story you’re submitting (a few sentences is sufficient, really — the newsletter needs to be short and to the point), and at least one link where readers can get more information.

How to make a yummy vinaigrette

Cooking, Food, Meatless, Recipes 4 Comments

I stopped buying pre-made salad dressings a long, long time ago because a) they’d get used once then end up rotting in the back of the fridge because they’re not really very good, b) it’s ridiculously easy to make your own from scratch, and c) making your own is about 1000x cheaper than buying pre-made.

I’ve established a base template for vinaigrette dressings which has held up pretty well through on-going tests. It is:

  • 1/2 c oil (olive oil, generally)
  • 1/3 c vinegar/sour (vinegar(s) + citrus juices, etc.)
  • 1 finely minced clove of garlic (not optional, unless you really hate garlic (weirdo))
  • 1 finely minced small shallot (not really optional, but you can substitute a couple of tablespoons of red onion if you must)
  • 1/2 tsp sweet (sugar, honey, maple syrup, whatever)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Pinch salt to taste

Put it all in a mason jar, make sure the lid is nice and tight, then shake like hell. A lot. Make it about an hour or so before you need it if you can, but that’s optional. Shake it again later. Don’t bother making enough for leftovers — it doesn’t store well and making it fresh is easy and awesome.

Now, I am a crazy vinegar-loving person, so you may want to ratchet the vinegar/sour back a bit. Starting with this basic template (which takes about 10 mins to make once you master the shallot/garlic mincing process) you can add whatever extras you want — fresh chopped herbs, grated cheeses, mustards, chopped capers, minced citrus zest, etc. Whatever.

The most recent was: olive oil, white wine vinegar, and lime zest (quite a lot…it was really tasty). Tonight’s is: olive oil, white wine vinegar, and about 1/3c finely grated parmasean cheese. Yum.

Update: If you’re going to use balsamic vinegar, don’t do the whole 1/3-1/2c with it. Cut that with something else. More than a few tablespoons of balsamic is a) a waste of balsamic, and b) going to be profoundly overpowering. Use the medium-good stuff, not the super-good stuff. Save the good stuff for drizzling over strawberries.

Daisy…daisy…

Moncton 1 Comment

Our garden has some daisies in it. Many, in fact.

Poofy clouds

Moncton No Comments

iPhone pic of the sky while I was out walking and rocking to some Matt Good earlier. No rain today for the first time in, literally, weeks.

Turned off Feedburner

General 4 Comments

As far as I can tell, from my three-or-four day experiment, Feedburner is just totally broken. At very least, the WP plugin doesn’t work, or something. Alas. The mystery of my subscriber numbers and “reach” shall remain just that. Should be back to normal feeds now, please let me know if anything is broken (if you can read this, but if you read via feeds you probably won’t see this if it’s busted). Ah teknology.

Education evolving…

Education, Innovation, Internet No Comments

Cool article over on Ars Technica: Prof tweets about course, ends up moving whole class online.

Testing posting from the iphone

Moblogging No Comments

So, there’s a WordPress app for the iPhone which, after giving me a hard time with my password, seems to be working quite well. Still not used to the iPhone keyboard – I’m still one-fimger typing here – but it’s better than nothing I suppose. I wonder if I can insert a picture..

Well let’s post this and see.

Export to Flickr plugin for Lightroom 2 = awesomesauce

Photography, Software No Comments

My entire photoprocessing workflow is now wholly contained in Lightroom 2 because of Jeffrey Friedl’s Export to Flickr plugin. And Lightroom does crazy smart things like stashes images in a temp directory for uploading then automatically deletes the images afterwards so you’re not gumming up your harddrive with unnecessary images that you’ll probably never use again.

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