Widgetbox has offered for over a year something called “blidgets”. These are widgets that take a feed and, well, turn them into a widget. It takes only a couple of minutes to do it. In fact, you don’t even need to tell it your feed address, just your blog address.
You just go to their feed widget page (shown above) and enter the url of your blog. After you hit the continue button, you will be presented with your new widget (pretty tough huh?) and you will be able to customize it.
Customize it then save it (you will have to make an account, which is simple and painless). Widgetbox has an extremely strong domain SEO value. Your description page for your blidget on Widgetbox will likely rank in the top 10 or 20 for whatever your blog name is within a couple of days.
2) Google Gadget
To make your feed into a Google gadget is also simple and easy to do. I once explained this over at SEOmoz but this time I will add a couple of details and suggestions. The steps are…
1) Go to the Google gadget directory
On the bottom of the left hand navigation there is a link that says “Add feed or gadget” Click that.
2) Enter your feed URL and click “Add”
It will think a second and then tell you it is
done. Go back to your iGoogle home and you will see a gadget displaying your latest posts…
You are done!
When you are looking at your feed gadget on your iGoogle home page, click the little down arrow on the upper right hand corner of the gadget and choose “about this gadget” you will be taken to a page that describes your new gadget.
You can also add just a button using Google’s button creator.
If you have dealt with some programming before, I highly suggest taking a look at another Google product that is just fabulous… the Google AJAX Feed API
Sprout is an interface that allows you to create flash widgets without knowing flash. It is a very impressive tool that is used by some big players. For the purpose of this tutorial I am just going to describe how to make a feed, but you can add videos, pictures, twitter, just about anything really.
Let’s make a widget out of the SEOish feed…
Go to the Sprout Get Started page and click the enormous button that says “Start building now”. If you are in IE it may take awhile to load. Whe it does it will present you with some choices. Choose “Blank Slate”…
Once you click that you will asked to enter a title and description of your project. I put as a title “SEOish” and as a description “A fabulously wonderful resource on widgets and SEO”.
Next you will come to the canvas. The white square in the middle of the page is your widget canvas…
In the upper left hand corner, click “general”. Once you do that the menu will expand and now you have to choose “News Feed”…
When you choose news feed it will then think a minute and then present you with a square in your canvas you can adjust this square to cover the whole canvas.
Next we must tell the widget builder what feed to put in there. Over on the right hand side of the page you will see bunches of choices, but let’s look at the one that says “Feed URL”.
This is where you enter your feed url and once you do you will see your latest posts show up in the widget.
In the upper right hand corner look for the “preview” button. Click it and it will show you a preview of your widget…
Now you can do whatever you want, add pictures, format it or just leave it as it is.
When you like how it looks just click “save” it is in the upper right hand corner near “preview”.
To see it and get the code you will have to hit “publish”. You will be asked to make an account (again, simple and easy). Congrats! you now have a flash widget.
Dapper.net is a very strong a robust tool. You get alot of choices of how to display your feed as a widget (flash, Google gadget, Netvibes gadget, etc.).
To get started on dapper go to the create Dapp page.
Choose the tab that says “In an existing RSS Feed”…
Enter your feed url. After you enter your url look at the choices you have (in the pic to right the choices are to the left of the RSS button).
Choose if you want a Google gadget, Netvibes Module, or just an RSS feed. If you choose the Google gadget or the Netvibes module, that is what you will get. Pretty simple.
If you choose RSS feed however, you get some more interesting choices…
Let’s choose the RSS feed option for SEOish.com. I entered http://www.seoish.com and then I choose RSS feed, then I hit the “Next step” button. Here is what the next page looks like…
This page is a preview of what is possible to display from your feed. If you have titles, descriptions, and dates then you are doing good. You can make some changes on this page like remove the publication date (by unchecking it in the upper right hand corner) but for the purposes of what we are doing right now let’s just go to the next step. The next page will give you a host of choices of how to display your content. Play around with them all. You will have to make an account to do this (simple, free, easy).