The left-hand sidebar of my blog sports OCLC's new WorldCat.Org search widget. I have to say, I'm proud of the organization that opened up that window into ten thousand of the world's libraries. Most anyone in the library world will see this as old news, though, as it happened last week. I didn't manage to get the widget installed on my site until today, though, as it isn't exactly a transparent task. I got stopped by password mismanagement (mine) to start with, and then memory failure (also mine) in operating the controls of my blog. In fact, laziness prevailed, and I put the task aside. You know... till "later".
Then this morning, Michael Braley of Adobe brought to my attention the Google Analytics widget and I thought I'd try it. Exactly the same problem, but this time, surmising that the solution might be isomorphic (and not wanting to admit that I couldn't run my own blog), I spent the time to actually get both done. Sho' nuff, these widgets are as easy as...
- Add a new TYPELIST
- Add a new ITEM to the typelist
- Copy the widget html code in the NOTES field of the new ITEM
- Go into CONFIGURE mode for the new typelist
- Under ADVANCED CONFIGURATION, check the AS TEXT box, and save changes.
I hope I can be forgiven being unable to recall this from the one previous time I managed to install such a widget on my blog. Now, If you want to put in a Type-pad-approved widget, I gather the process is simpler (and documented), but requiring many-to-many consultation between widget makers and blog software developers sounds to me like a sure fire prescription for inaction.
I confess ignorance as to precisely what information in or about a widget and its behavior MIGHT need to be structured and standardized, but the blogosphere will work a lot better if people could install widgets by:
- entering a link pointing to widget code
- authenticate identity to the widget code maker as necessary
- authenticate identity to the blog account
Dan Connally of the W3C is fond of describing the Semantic Web as a 'place' where computers do the stuff they are good at and not force people to do it instead (I paraphrase loosely). This is a perfect example of (easily?) rectifiable unsemantic failure.
Blog Software developers:
Image: The Frye Art Museum in Seattle is a private museum (without admission fees) on Capital Hill. The entrance pool has an installation of object d'art, of which this is one. August, 2006