Add Bling to a Blog
Challenge #7 of Kick Start Your Blog looked at the use of widgets in a blog and the possibility of adding some bling! The sidebar(s) of a blog may need a spring clean and mine certainly did and still does. Here is what I did in the spring clean! Let me walk you through my side bar.
1. About Me My blog did not have an avatar on the sidebar, so I registered for a gravatar, added my photo and wrote a short piece about ambitions and passions. I will link this to may ‘About Me’ page.
2. Categories This is an essential item on a blog, so that posts of a similar topic can be searched for. Search engines may also pick up on the categories. Maintained my drop down menu for categories. Tags should appear near the categories so that readers interested in more, can quickly choose a tag.
3. RSS Feed – allows interested readers to subscribe to my blog and receive notice of post updates. The “subscribe by email” option is also on the sidebar for those who prefer to receive it by email.
4. Search box: To retrieve blog posts on a particular topic (primarily for personal use)
5. Badges: It is with pride that these are displayed – nominations for the Edublogs Awards 2008, 2010.It is also with pride that I promote the amazing Global Education Conference 2010.
6. Blogroll: this aspect still needs tidying up, as some blogs are idle and there are others to add. Then follows links to global projects, frequently used resources, blogs that are special to me (family etc) and my other blogs. Horror of all horrors – I had not added the Kick Start Your Blog Challenge to my sidebar. That was quickly rectified. As the blogroll gets longer, I shall consider putting this on a page rather than the sidebar.
7. Widgets: I am still trying to work out what widgets wordpress will accept but Clustrmaps has been added. This is reset each year. Sometimes, I catch my students looking at my map, working out what countries the dots are from etc. Geovisite has some great tracking options but cannot be added to wordpress.
8. Meta:- login for the blog. This should be at the bottom of the sidebar as only the blogger needs access to this.
I am not sure whether I need the latest tweets or my latest post updates. A clock widget would be good so if anyone knows of one for wordpress, I would love you tell me as a comment below.
Class Blog - As my students use this blog, it has more bling but is also in major need of renovation. As our location is changing, I need to redo all my widgets and sidebar.
- Features most of the above except the blogroll includes links to my student blogs.
- Digital clock – to inform our global contacts what
day it is in Australia and what the current time where we live.
- A countdown to an important event or to the end of the year
- Student blog of the week
- Tags in a word cloud
- Geovisite tracking and mapping objects
- Feedjit traffic feed
What do you see as essential on your sidebar? How does the sidebar on your teacher blog compare to that on a class blog?
Adding legs to my blog (alias “Walking you through my sidebar) http://murcha.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/widgets-and-bling-add-legs-to-the-blog/