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):
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.