Archive for November, 2006

Original Signal widget

November 30th, 2006

Original Signal.com (OSig) does have a widget. I discovered this after writing the previous post.

OSig’s widget is a simple javascript that delivers the top (first) article from each feed on the OSig pages. This covers any of the main categories and sub-categories they have listed on their page, including Web, Tech, World, Business and Entertainment.

This could be a handy feature to add to your blog. It could be used as a resource in conjunction with a chat widget. You could use it to impress your girl friend. Or you could use it as sidebar filler. Whatever is done with it, it’s still a handy little widget.

Here is how the widget looks using only 5 headlines.

Here is how the widget looks after I tweaked it.

I put the widget code into a table and added background color, border and cell padding. This is a simple way to customize some widgets. This will not work for all widgets.

W3schools has a good table tutorial.

How do you maximize your time?

November 28th, 2006

This is not a widget review!

Resources such as RSS and email subscription services are a good way to speed up the time you spend reading blogs. Rss allows you to subscribe to all of the content from blogs/sites of your choice.
Email subscription services allow you to subscribe to certain content that you are interested in from blogs/sites of your choice.

These are both great tools that become more popular everyday. Unfortunately they sometimes require extra steps that take more time. Sometimes email subscriptions services deliver information after you have already seen stories about a particular topic. Bummer!

This is where news aggregators swoop in for the rescue. Sites such as Pageflakes.com, Netvibes.com and of course the new and improved Original Signal.com (my all time favorite) offer a simple interface that allows you to view headlines from your A-List of important sites. At a glance, you can tell if there are any topics of interest to you and then act on them accordingly.

originalsignal.com

For the absolute fastest glance at the headlines from the top sites on the net today, Original Signal(OSig) can’t be beat. There is no need to log in if you don’t want to customize OSig. Just click on the OSig bookmark that you have created and start reading headlines. Mouseover headlines to get the first few lines of content to see if the story is for you. (all three of these sites perform this action)

PageFlakes.com and Netvibes.com are more geared towards a start page type interface. This requires a log in and user interaction to make the page the way you want it. Some of the options include: weather in your locale, Flickr photo display, Search bars, access to your email etc. etc. The list of options are extensive.

I won’t pretend to know everything there is to know about any one of these three sites. But what I do know is, that out of the three, OSig has saved me the most time. That makes Original Signal my Favorite!

Now for the absolute mind bender…once you have all this information and you blogged about it, emailed it, IM’ed it and called your friends about it. You’re done…right? Wrong. Because that seems like a lot of work. More work than you want to do…right?
Spokeo.com has the solution. Recommend your stories and favorite headlines and they will show up on your friends Spokeo pages. If they then recommend the same stories to their friends eventually your stories may make it to the featured user page. Now all you have to do is create a spokeo page and start friending.

Other content aggregators
popurls.com
sLists.com (photo aggregator)

See what others are saying.
GigaOM
web2weblog
Digital Alchemy

inCircles.com Superb chat widget

November 27th, 2006

incircles.com
How I found inCircles:

I happened to be over at TechCrunch on Saturday, reading this excellent post “The six biggest new ideas in chat” when I see the inCircles chat widget. At first it seems to be another chat widget. Boring…been there…
2 hours later I had to stop chatting…I had too much other stuff I had to accomplish before the night turned into morning.

I couldn’t stop thinking about how easy it was to get sucked into chatting with inCircles.

I knew I had to add it to Widgets Lab. As you can see at the top of this page, the link to my inCircles chat. Which I had to place at the bottom of this blog. (I have to reign in the widgets sometimes, otherwise it would take two days to load this page) I can’t guarantee someone will be there but give it a try anyhow. You can always find other sites in the widget that have more people chatting.

inCircles chat pros

1. Flash widget (no Javascript) so this should be MySpace friendly.
2. Two size options. A wide version and a narrow version optimized for side bars
3. Four color options. Black, White, Blue and Pink
4. Very fast response time. Hardly any lag at all.
5. No registration needed! Either to get the widget or to chat. Sweet!

inCircles chat cons

1. Visitors are automatically logged in when they visit your site. This makes it appear as though there are more people chatting then there actually are.
2. There are no moderation capabilities. Foul mouthed hooligans have a tendency to ruin a good time. ( I would like to see a DIGG style thumbs down vote type of moderation, where chatters agree to silence an offensive thread.)

I recommend this chat widget.
Lets talk!

What others are saying.
Grain of Salt
StartupSquad.com

Yedda.com

November 25th, 2006

yedda.com
Everyone has a question and most want an answer. If you don’t want Yahoo answers, Answerbag.com or Askville there seem to be plenty of other options. Yedda.com seems to be one of those other options. There is no fancy points or virtual coin gimmicks with Yedda. Just Q&A.

You can earn a rep with Yedda. You may become the answer guru. If you do you will be happy to know that you easily display the fact of your intelligence in the form of a Javascript widget. If your using MySpace…sorry your widget use is excluded. Unless you wanted to continuously update a screen image of your widget…sounds like fun!

I will display my Yedda.com profile widget below. Don’t be alarmed that I have a zero rating. I don’t have time to wander these sites looking for questions that I can answer.

**CORRECTION**
I have found yedda.com to be an engaging and fun experience. My only regret is now I’ll need scrape another hour off of my sleep schedule. (Hmmm, I wonder if I can sleep at work?)

What others are saying.
/Message:Yedda revisited
yedda questions indexed by Google Blog search

Derek

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