Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > The Web/Virtual Worlds/Social Networking

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Using the Text Widget

In Chapter 3, we described the widgets you can use with a WordPress.com blog in detail. We left out the details on two of the best widgets because they need more explanation to use properly. The Text widget is covered here; the RSS widget is described in Chapter 8.

According to the WordPress.com support pages, the Text widget is the most popular widget of all, for three reasons:

  • Its power
  • Its flexibility
  • The ability to use multiple instances of the Text widget in a single blog for various purposes

The Text widget is so popular that many plug-ins—the big brothers of widgets, which are only available to WordPress software-based blogs, as described in Chapter 10—are available for enhancing the power of the Text widget. One example is the WYSIWYG Text widget, which makes it easy to add colors, links, and images to the Text widget without knowing code.

Content Providers for the Text Widget

If you want to get a lot of power into the Text widget quickly, several content providers provide code that you can simply cut and paste into your Text widget. Your Text widget becomes a gateway into their blog.

Here are some of our favorites that relate directly to your blog:

  • Babelfish Yahoo Translation—This service translates your blog for visitors. This is a marvelous service for visitors because many web users have English as their second or third language; a translation into their own language helps them get more out of your blog and improve their English at the same time.
  • ClustrMaps—This is a hit counter that tracks where your blog visitors come from. It is fun, informative, and likely to generate comments.
  • Delicious—This site, shown in Figure 6.7, is probably the most influential social media site for bloggers to blog about blogging—and track what they like most. Getting attention on this site sends your visits skyrocketing. Check it out—then join.
    Figure 6.7

    Figure 6.7 Make delicious your friend.

    Here are a few content providers that add functionality to your blog:
  • Bitty Browser—People can surf the Web in a widget! Shown in Figure 6.8, Bitty Browser is great for helping people go someplace you recommend without really leaving your blog at all. It is highly configurable and hours of fun.
    Figure 6.8

    Figure 6.8 Bitty Browser has plenty of power.

  • Flickr—Get into your Flickr photos. This is great if you're a Flickr user, or willing to become one to easily add photos to your blog.
  • Last.fm and Pandora—Get the latest charts from Last.fm and favorite songs on Pandora. Let people listen while they surf your blog!
  • YouTube—You can have a permanent YouTube window in your blog. It's great fun, but perhaps a good way to lose visitors who go off to YouTube instead?

Links to these content providers and more are available on the Text Widgets page in the WordPress Codex:

http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Widgets#Using_Text_Widgets

Things You Can Do with the Text Widget

Now that you've seen some of the great things content providers can give you for the Text widget, what can you do with the Text widget yourself?

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Lists of key posts—You can list your top posts of all time, or by a specific topic. You can link to the most commented posts. You can create a "getting started" list on your main topic(s) for newcomers. This can be a great way to help people get to know your blog.
  • About you/about your topic—You can give a few words of introduction or welcome and perhaps links to a few key resources, on or off your blog.
  • Picture directory of contributors—You can create a directory of blog contributors with their photos.

For more on the Text widget from WordPress.com support, visit http://support.wordpress.com/widgets/text-widget/.

The Text widget can contain text, HTML code, and small images. At one time, JavaScript was allowed, but it caused too many problems. The Text widget cannot contain code such as JavaScript or Flash.

A Simple Sample Text Widget

You can create Text widgets when you add the Text widget to your blog. Here's an example of creating a Text widget; the one shown here combines text, graphics, and simple HTML:

  1. In the Administration area, click the Appearance header, and then click Widgets. The Widgets page appears, as shown in Chapter 3.
  2. Drag the Text widget from the Available Widgets in the center of the screen to the Sidebar on the right. The Text widget opens up.
  3. Enter a title for the widget. This is important; a poor or confusing choice of title might annoy people every time they see any page of your blog.

    We've titled the example widget ANDROID-RELATED POSTS, in reference to Google's Android operating system for mobile phones. (Widget titles always display in UPPERCASE.)

  4. To add a graphic to the widget, upload it to the Media Library, as described in Chapter 8. Then copy the URL into the Text widget, using the img tag.
  5. To add text and HTML to the widget, enter it in free-form fashion. Be sure to click the Automatically Add Paragraphs check box, unless you want to add a lot of <p> and </p> tags yourself. For our sample site, a typical entry contains the name of a post, surrounded by code to link it to its permalink. The result looks like this:
    <a href="http://gvdaily.com/2009/04/24/dialing-international-who-needs-mobile-
    minutes/">Dialing International: Who Needs Mobile Minutes?</a>
  6. Click the Save button regularly to save your work.
  7. When you're finished, click Save one last time, and then click Visit Site. Our sample Text widget's code along with the resulting widget are shown in Figure 6.9.
    Figure 6.9

    Figure 6.9 Text widget code isn't pretty...but the results can be beautiful.

When you're done, always review your work, note what works well, and consider how to improve it.

For the Text widget described here, for instance, here are the things we like:

  • A nice, distinctive image—easy to find for repeat visitors
  • A good location—the main keyword, Android, is right at the front of the widget title
  • A clear, simple topic

Here are the ways we'd probably revise it on a second try:

  • Revise the HTML code so that links move up into the space next to the figure, using vertical space better.
  • Add some guiding text such as "Most recent first" at the beginning, or even dates next to the posts, so people knew what was recent and what was historical.
  • Add a post to the site explaining what Android is and how it's relevant to the main topic of the site, Google Voice, then link to that in this widget.
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020