Always tinkering

While I'm generally pleased with the current state of the site (it fits my humble needs) my geekier nature compels me to constantly tinker. One example of this is the baby countdown widget I recently added to the sidebar. Sure it might be a bit too much with the Flickr widget already over there, but I'm excited to be a future dad again so sue me.

Another recent addition was a feed that compiles the most recent posts from all my friends sites into a single feed (or 'mashup' for you geeks out there.) I think this component is actually a fairly useful addition (for my needs anyway.) But it was also a great excuse to give me a chance to tinker with Yahoo Pipes. The feed I setup was relatively simple and could have been accomplished by a number of sites. But I wanted a chance to get my feet wet with Yahoo Pipes as it's an extremely promising service that offers a myriad of possibilities for robust (and highly useful) content aggregation. I can definitely foresee us using it for some of our clients. If you decide to tinker with it be forewarned though. While the interface is nice and slick, it can definitely be a bit confusing and more advanced mashups have a steep learning curve. The best thing to do is just make a copy of an existing feed you found useful and then retool it for your needs.

Another thing I might update on the site soon is creating collapsible navigation for some of my links (similar to the blog archive.) I don't want to bury any of the links (and part of the reason I added the Yahoo Pipes feed was to get people to visit my friends sites .) But at the same time the sidebar can quickly grow unwieldy. I just wish Blogger would add their own widget for it rather than having to use my own script.


Jason McCay said...

I have to admit...having a little baby floating around on the side of your blog is a bit distracting and well...strange. :)

Holly Browder said...

Yeah, it's a bit 2001 a space Odyseey. And given that I once again think this baby will be significantly earlier than the official due date I'm kind of reconsidering.

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