Playing with text widgets in wordpress

Sue Waters has been having fun getting ideas on widgets and helping bloggers using edublogs via the new blog The Edublogger.

I have used WordPress.com as my preferred blogging platform, though I also use blogger from time to time. But for classroom use, I have always preferred to use edublogs.org (another wordpress system), because of its various options for use at schools for students, teachers, or for whole campus.

I’ve provided all sorts of support to people with blogging over the last two years, and so have learnt a few tips and tricks along the way.

Sue has asked us to share these with the edublogs community, via our own blogs. So here is one that I used for my super(woman) friend Danni Miller at her blog The Butterfly Effect – an inspiration to girls and women here in Australia. Danni’s blog was nominated for Best New Blog in 2007. I’ve been honoured to provide consultant support to this fabulous dynamo and advocate for girls and women!

Danni particularly wanted to be able to promote her various ideas and resources to her readers. Of course Vodpod took care of her video recommendations. Library Thing was the ideal choice for her book recommendations.

Here’s the code that I used to display a random selection of books from her Library Thing Book Collection as it appears on her blog The Butterfly Effect. This is placed into a text box in your widget tools and can be used in WordPress or Edublogs. I have substituted words in square brackets to indicate where you will need to insert your own links or LibraryThing profile name.

<a href=”//www. [insert the rest of your LibraryThing URL (don’t put http:)]“><img src=”http://[for an image you would like to show permanently to promote your collection insert the rest of the image URL]“>
<a href=”http://www.[insert the rest of your LibraryThingURL]“>
<img src=”http://www.librarything.com/gwidget/widget.php?view=
[the name of your LibraryThing profile]
&&width=170&lheight=11;type=random&num=8&hbold=1&ac
=ac8834&tc=000000&bc=EEEEFF&fsize=8″>
</a>

Clicking on either the image or the random selection of books being displayed will take your readers directly to your Library Thing account.

Enjoy!

Oh, and if you need consultant support in your organisation or school for introducing, establishing or using blogging I just might be able to help you out too! :-)