Adding Legs to my Blog (alias “Walking you through my sidebar!”

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.

  1. Features most of the above except the blogroll includes links to my student blogs.
  2. Digital clock –  to inform our global contacts what
    day it is in Australia and what the current time where we live.
  3. A countdown to an important event or to the end of the year
  4. Student blog of the week
  5. Tags in a word cloud
  6. Geovisite tracking and mapping  objects
  7. 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) https://murcha.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/widgets-and-bling-add-legs-to-the-blog/

8 responses to “Adding Legs to my Blog (alias “Walking you through my sidebar!”

  1. Murcha
    I like how you have the categories in a drop down menu. I must look on my class blog and see if I can do that. It is now taking up far too much space on the side bar.
    I had never thought of moving the meta down further because its mainly myself who logs in there. I guess I was just thinking of myself. But I am going to move it down a bit anyway on my class blog.
    My teacher blog is much ‘cleaner’ than my class blog! In terms of the side-bar. Its been going longer! However there is more bling on the class blog, because as you say students like it. On my class blog I have lots of resources down the side bar as well. I could turn that in to a resource page but am unsure about that. Its another click away then!
    Thanks for all the help and modelling you have given during the challenge. It has gone far beyond my expectations and has been a really valuable experience.
    Kathryn

  2. Hi Kathryn Thanks for you comment. I agree that the Kick Start Your Blog Challenge has gone way beyond any of our expectations. It has been great to meet you all and I hope we maintain this valuable network.
    My teacher blog is much cleaner than my class blog, but I like a busy class blog, so that sidebar matches. However I do have lots of cleaning up to do there. All the best with “keep sharing your blog” #ksyb

  3. Thanks for walking us through your sidebar, Anne. I have really enjoyed this blogging challenge and your guidance throughout.

    My professional blog is like yours – much more simple and streamlined whereas my class blog has more going on. Sixth graders like that!

    • Hi Janelle, I thoroughly agree that students love a lot more bling than adults. Although, I also love widgets, they are more statistical mapping devices.

  4. I like the idea of promoting a student blog of the week. I’ve been promoting great student blogs with posts, but I like the idea of highlighting one on the sidebar.

    I’ve enjoyed this journey through the blogging challenge. Thanks for all your work and encouragement.

    • Hi Kay, somehow we received a box of usb drives (which were small in size) but we decided they would make good prizes for the students. That is how we first came upon the idea of a featured “Student Blog of the Week”. Those who were given the award, received a usb drive.
      I think it is a good idea, encourages a high standard of blogging amongst students, promotes creativity and gives any readers of my class and school blog a chance to see some great student blogs.

    • Hi Kay, somehow our school received a box of usb drives as a reward for participating as a thank you for promoting books, (which were small in size) but we decided they would make good prizes for the students. That is how we first came upon the idea of a featured “Student Blog of the Week”. Those who were given the award, received a usb drive.
      I think it is a good idea, encourages a high standard of blogging amongst students, promotes creativity and gives any readers of my class and school blog a chance to see some great student blogs.

  5. Pingback: Final posts of the week #ksyb | Teacher Challenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s