Welcome to another installment of Blogger Tips & Tricks. Sorry this one's been delayed a bit. I think the issues I had while trying to post HTML code on previous posts burnt me out on these a little. :-)
Here are links to my previous posts, in case you missed them or simply want to revisit them:
The Look & Feel
Grab Buttons & Favicons
And this is completely beside the point but don't you love the word "widget?" Such a goofy word, yet such a wonderful little feature...
WHAT ARE SOME WORTHWHILE BLOGGER WIDGETS? (AND WHERE THE HECK CAN I FIND THEM?)
In my numerous searches and with the help of some of you out there, I have come across several widgets that I have enjoyed using on my site. In this post I'll tell you where you can find them and why I love them...
The Recent Comments Widget
I noticed several bloggers had a little section in their sidebar devoted to recent comments. I thought that was pretty neat, since it gives visitors an idea on what posts are generating discussion and interest on that particular blog. You can find the widget at Blogger Templates. It's a piece of cake to add, so why not try it out?
Top Commentators Widget
I first noticed a top commentators widget being used over at J. Kaye's Book Blog. She uses it to highlight which bloggers to feature in her blogroll, which is pretty cool. For me, it came in handy when I wanted to hand out the "You Don't Say - Super Comments Award." You can customize it to look at a certain range of past comments, whether it's the last 500 or 5,000. (They do recommend limiting it to around 500 of the most recent comments.) I think it's a neat little way to give some commentators a little recognition. You can find this widget at Blogger Plugins.
Blog Statistics Widget
This little widget simply shows how many posts you've written and how many comments you've received, in total. I thought it was neat, so I added it to my blog. You can find it at Blogger Tips & Tricks (uh-oh, looks like I accidentally stole that name for this series of posts... sorry :-/)
Label Cloud "Widget"
I don't know about all of you, but my Blog Post Labels list was getting a little out of control after awhile. Eventually, I did pare down the number of labels I was using, but I also added the code to turn it into a label cloud, making it take up less room in the sidebar. So I guess technically this isn't a widget, since you are editing HTML code, but since it's a sidebar item I'm featuring it as a widget. You can find the code and instructions at phydeaux3.
Translate This Blog Widget
I don't remember whose blog I saw this one on, but given how many people from outside the U.S. I've seen on various blogs, I thought perhaps it would be handy to have this little widget. I don't know how much use it will get, but it seemed like a neat addition to make my blog accessible to more people. You can find this widget at Blogger Plugins, again.
Actually, Blogger Plugins is a great web site and may just have all of these plugins I've mentioned here. I'm simply telling you where I first found the information to add these little gadgets to my blog. If anyone else has any great sidebar gadgets and widgets they'd like to share information about, please leave a comment below. I know a lot of people have some cool features on their blogs, some of which I may not have even come across yet. Remember, I'm just sharing with you the little bit that I've learned in trying to tweak my blog and make it my own. There's a whole wealth of knowledge on blogging just waiting to be discovered!
I hope you find all these tips useful. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Stay tuned for my final post on Blogger Tips & Tricks: Helpful Links - this is where I'll summarize all the useful sites I've found in improving my blog. It may be the most helpful of all of these posts and I may start wondering why I wrote the rest of these entries :-)