Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blog #9: World wide widget hunt

I kind of hate widgets right now. I spent most of yesterday looking in to what I thought would be a pretty simple widget hunt. I had to add a counter widget to our wiki and look at tag clouds to see if they would be useful for our wiki as well. Finding the counter was not had at all. It took me just a few minutes to locate one I liked and only a few more to add it so that it would actually show up on the page. This was the easy part. It was there with the widget adding area of the edit menu. It read 385 visits. There was a place to go to reset the widget for your site but it would not reset. I tried everything I could think of. I took it off, logged back in and relinked it to try it from scratch again. I got rid of all of it and tried again. I tried to reset on different computers. I tried it all but it would not work for anything in the world. I ended up looking around for different widget and loading that onto the site. So far so good. It works and started at 1. Amazing. Now I just have to figure out if I can easily reset it and we'll have to add that information to training materials.

The tag cloud is different altogether. I'm not sure it will even work for us. All of the generators I have been looking at need you to add the tags you want it to look for. This is fine if we want to give them a list of tags to use all the time but if they want to create their own tags they won't want to keep generating new clouds. If there was a cloud that would look at all the tags and create it's own list it would work well but I don't know yet if there is. The tag cloud on the YA area of the ACPL site is great and I am going to ask who found it and where they found it to see if we can recreate it but if not we might have to give up the cloud. It was suggested to us by one of the YA librarians as something they might like to see but if they have to generate new clouds every time they come up with a new tag then it's not worth it to them. They want something quick and easy and that would be neither. It was a cool idea. Too bad it might not happen.


Kris said...

Amanda, I had to laugh when I read your post...I was working on the ACPL wiki yesterday, and the counter went from 5 hundred something to 9 hundred something in an hour...I thought something must be screwy, or LOTS of people have all of a sudden gotten really interested in this wiki!

Mary Alice Ball said...

Good for you, Amanda, in getting out there and experimenting with widgets. When working with technology it's fairly common for people to ask you to migrate a tool that works well in one environment into another. Not as easy as it looks most of the time. In the end, I usually ask myself why I am doing it. Is it just because it's a new fun tool or is it really serving a purpose?