Keep Your Blogger Gadgets Current

I’m sure you go to great pains to select and install widgets on your sidebar or footer. However, like most of us you may then forget about them — unless they stop working. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Here are some reasons to take a fresh look at your widgets with an eye toward pruning, replacing and adding. This can only make your overall design fresher and cleaner.

Technology Moves Forward – That includes Blogger. The old list of 9 or 10 basic gadgets is a thing of the past. You now have favorite widgets integrated into Blogger. This means fewer JavaScripts to stuggle with and no annoying credit links at the bottom of the widget.Why shouldn’t our widgets look seamless like WordPress sidebars? Widget developers still get credit as you install their gadget.

Blogger organizes gadgets in 4 groups:

Basics – there are currently 20 familiar widgets like those for Html/JavaScript, Text, Adsense and Link Lists.The newest additions are highlighted at the top of the selections:

Followers Followers (New!) Displays a list of users who follow your blog Add
By Blogger
The Followers is the Google Friend Connect widget.
Search Box Search Box (New!) Search over your blog, your blogroll, and everything you’ve linked to. Add
By Google Custom Search
The search is the Google search box which looks first in your blog and optionally all of your blogroll or links list, or the web. This is a preview of the box for inputting search phrases:

The search results display above your post column, using basic template colors and styling. However I didn’t like the background displayed in my results and don’t see any way to customize the colors. Although you might be able to adjust if you go directly to your Adsense account.

Tip: Improve your design by hidding the blogger navigation bar and install the blog search gadget. Read more: why you should be fearful of what blog is behind door #1 on Blogger?

Featured – there are nine featured gadgetss, including Recent Posts, Twiter Updates. I added the Recent Posts summaries which I like very much. It allows you to show fewer posts on the homepage and give visitors other pages to consider. Also in the featured category are these gadgets:

Flickr Photostream Flickr Photostream -Display thumbnails of your most recent Flickr photos Add
By Blogger Buster
TheFlickr Stream is cool to add at the bottom of your blog. There’s a similar one for Picasa Photostream.

Recent Comments Recent Comments Show your most recent comments, with optional summaries Add
By Blogger Buster
I installed the Recent Comments widget just to update the one I had from BloggerBuster — removes offsite link (“Add this widget to your blog.”.) But I had to delete it since it doesn’t show the post name and doesn’t interpret special characters like apostophes. See my current one and the snapshot of the new one on the right:

Most Popular -The six most often installed —  including the Recent Comments widget. There’s one for an animated fish pond where you feed custom colored fish with mouse clicks. Also Digg news, YouTube and Event Countdown clock.

More Gadgets – The complete list of 159, many you may already have on your iGoogle desktop. These include quotes, cute puppy photos, games, horoscopes, digital clocks and calendars. So maybe you don’t need most of these on your blog’s sidebar!

What’s your favorite new gadget?

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18 Comments

  1. I never had any problems with the follower's gadget — you may have to reinstall.

    re: recent comments widget – "Does it work with Echo" — yes it just takes what's already there (why would you doubt it? 😀 ) There are still problems with Echo trying to actually LEAVE a comment, but that's a different story. *DONT_KNOW*

  2. Hey SBA, you are absolutely right!! We need to update our widgets on a regular basis! More over, I came to know that blogger has added the Read More feature. Why don't you implement them?

  3. I had noticed that the 'read more' is available. You're reading my mind — I'll implement it soon. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. FYI – this is a message of JS-kit support – troubleshooting. I could not add my comment luv post url since js-kit would not take the submit button when I select 'my site' as the id instead of jskit profile. See reply above which has no comment luv. so i had to turn the js profile back on. and uncheck commentluv.

  5. I tried just login checking js-kit and unchecking 'my site' but then got this error: (guess that makes sense)

    " Oh no! Comluv had an error with your feed, see message below!"
    cURL said – cURL error 6: Couldn't resolve host 'miniprof_ext_profile_jskit'

    Actually I saw the miniprof stuff preseeded in the comment form earlier this morning…

  6. commentluv uses a jquery library to do the magic when you click into the comment text area, it does this by monitoring what is called the DOM which is all the objects on the page that are present when the document has fully loaded. If you go on to change the DOM by logging in to jskit then commentluv wont know about the change because it's record of all the objects is different from what is showing AFTER you log on.

    This is why you need to refresh the page to get commentluv to work. That's a standard behavior for DOM manipulating 3rd party javascripts, there's literally nothing I can do about that, it's a normal situation for every javascript include that uses event listeners.

    As for not working when you're logged in to jskit; commentluv only needs a valid URL to do the request for last posts, if you're logged in through any of the other platforms but don't have your actual site url as the last value in the list of who you are, then commentluv wont be able to fetch your last posts because none will exist at the url found at the bottom of the list. (see first image).

    Once you have your url entered there, it will stay there wherever you comment on jskit systems.

    I can see that once you have your site url entered, subsequent comments are including a commentluv link (image 2) which tells me that the comments you made that didn't have a link was because you hadn't provided a site url (image 3).

    Commentluv doesn't know what your site is by magic, it knows only what you tell it. If you don't put your site url there, it can't guess.

    I can see some issues with the submit button losing functionality if the DOM changes, i will look into seeing if I can change the submit handler so it is more robust so it submits without the link if an error is present.

    I hope this clears things up for you.

    Recent blog:=- Update across the board for Blogger CommentLuv

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