10 Web Widgets to Share Interests on Your Site
So many of the sites I visit today offer cool tools, API’s and feeds to allow you to display the personal content you generate on them to your own site. The sites and tools I am focusing on here are those that collect information about personal interests that help define who you are. After coming across so many of these sites that offer external feeds, I began to realize that if you were to aggregate much of this information in one place, you could provide an interesting window for others to look through. So what would be the purpose in doing that? Well, you could either provide a first impression to visitors giving them an idea of who you are, or let friends know what you’ve been up to lately. In either case I will show you several sites and tools available along many different categories that will allow you to add them to your blog or site.
All of the sites I list are based on tracking how you interact on them, so that the content will be dynamic. There are quite a few sites that track your interests from music to movies as well as videos and sites you find on the net. Those are just a few of the types of content that you could aggregate and provide to others in an automated fashion.
I have chosen to highlight a single site for each category either based on overall popularity, feeds available or personal experience. You may have another favorite or there may be alternatives to most of these. The main purpose is to point these out so it will open you up to further exploring other sites out there that offer feeds or encourage existing ones to provide them. For instance, it would be cool to have a feed listing restaurants I’ve eaten at recently, TV shows watched, or stocks purchased.
- Site: last.fm
- Description: Site provides software that adds plugins for your computer’s media players which sends track information back to them as you listen. The site then provides a code snippet to display: Top tracks played (all time or weekly). Top artists played (all time or weekly). They also provide rss feeds as well.
- How to get it: Log in to your account and click on this link
- Example: Top Weekly Artists
- Site: netflix.com
- Description: Site provides an rss feed for your current queue, current movies you have, or recent rental activity
- How to get it: Log in to your account and then click this link
- Example: Movies at home
- Site: librarything.com
- Description: Site provides ability to catalog your books online and then create a code snippet for your site that displays recent books, random books, or a tag cloud. You can even use your own Amazon associates id if you are currently an affiliate.
- How to get it: Add books and click on this link
- Example: Recent Books
- Site: bf2s.com
- Description: Site provides statistics for my online play of Battlefield 2 which is a first person shooter for the PC.
- How to get it: I cheated a bit on this one. I’m using a WordPress plugin available here bf2s.com used to provide a code snippet
- Example: Real-time Stats
- Site: del.icio.us
- Description: Site provides code to display recent bookmarks which can also be filtered by tags. RSS feeds also available
- How to get it: Code available here
- Example: Latest Bookmarks
- Site: youtube.com
- Description: Site provides code to embed a defined playlist on your site.
- How to get it: Create a playlist here and then add the code for “embed”
- Example: My Favorite Videos
- Site: flickr.com
- Description: Site provides code to display recent or random photos which you can filter by tag. RSS feeds also are available
- How to get it: Log in to your account and Build a badge
- Example: Recent Pictures
- Site: productwiki.com
- Description: Site provides code to embed a list of product images that you can customize and filter by tags. RSS feeds are also available
- How to get it: Tap products, tag as necessary, and create a list
- Example: Products I Own
- Description: Site provides code to embed a list of your RSS feeds based on your OPML file.
- How to get it: Place your opml file on your server or on the web and create a widget and enter the url. They also have a WordPress Plugin available here
- Example: My RSS Feeds