Monday, March 10, 2008

Play Week with Blue 2.0, Part 2

I kind of ran out of time during this last 2-week session to complete two activities. Part of that was that the week started just as I returned from a conference and I'm still trying to wrap things up from that. Anyway, I scanned through the remaining optional activities just now and noticed that one was on Advanced Blogging (or "bling" your blog).

I did add something new to my blog last week. I finally played around with LibraryThing and made a widget to put on my blog. So now instead of juts a list of some of the books I'm currently reading, I have a list of some of the books in my personal library with pictures of the book covers! Very cool. Other things I have done in the past to add some spunk to my blog include:

  1. A ticker at the top (currently a count down to my first wedding anniversary, but previously it was a ticker to the wedding day). You can get your own ticker for all sorts of things (birthdays, baby due dates, how long you've been married, etc. at Daisy Path.
  2. On the side bar, I have a picture of my patron saint of the year. For more information on the Patron Saint of the Year Ministry check out this link.
  3. I also have a little box to the daily readings for each day of the Catholic Church calendar. It's very cool for those days when I may be going to a daily mass, I can read the readings ahead of time through that link and get more out of the mass when I attend. And If I'm not attending I can still read the readings that I know will be used in every Catholic Church around the world that day. I got the widget for the readings from a website called which provides all sorts of widgets for your blogs.
  4. I also joined a webring several months ago. It's called St. Blog's Parish and under the Daily Mass readings you can see a link to the Webring. You'll notice that each word or character is an individual link. Some will take you to another random blog in the ring and others take you to more information about the webring itself. Webrings link together blogs that all have a common theme of some kind. The St. Blog's Parish Webring is currently closed (I believe). It seems that it can be time consuming to try and maintain.
  5. Lastly is the LibraryThing widget I added. And I already talked about that.

That's most of the "bling" I've added to my blog over time. Besides the things mentioned above, I've added other lists to blogs I like, websites of the various groups I'm involved in, and there are links to all my posts through the archive.

One last thing, I noticed that Encore was on the list of Blue 2.0 things to explore. I just wanted to comment that I have tried using Encore and I don't find it very easy. I don't like that it takes a very broad approach to everything. There are a few nice features, but the things I like are the things that will be incorporated into the next release of the Voyager software we use. If we can get all the same functionality in Voyager, why do we have Encore?

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