Roll your own widget

Yes, you can stick a widget on your site and have it extract tags automatically (Go here)
But why not try it out in real time, mash some sites up and see what a custom widget would look like?

How about seeing what Stephen Fry is Twittering about, mash it with the ravings of Jason Calacanis' blog, and then see how it links with the BBC News. All in a sesame seed bun.

Use the widget builder below, and see it come to life before your eyes

Want some more explanation of what you are seeing? Click here
Width Height

Flash  Static Image  Tag Cloud  Tag List 






Background Color
Text Color
Link Visited Color
 

What is this

Essentially, we are trying to do two things. The first is to extract important themes from all of the web pages or Twitter feeds specified. Some may be common to all, and some may be unique. We haven't yet got round to showing visually only those which are common across all of the different pages - But we will soon!

What you also see are expressions in parentheses. These are what we call "Super Categories", and these do try to express common themes out of all of the content.

What happens when I click

In the Flash version, you get a set of related search terms. At the bottom of the screen, you can then search external sites for further information (eg Google and Wikipedia), or click a other item, and see more related search terms (and so on, ad infinitum!)

In the static version, you get send to a page which has the Cloud/List widget on it.

In Cloud/List view, you will see a pop-up box, giving you the option to search external repositories

If you see a small icon like this search, ignore it. In future releases, you'll be able to specify your own search criteria here

What are the display options?

There are three basic style of "widget".

Flash

We have taken the superb WP-Cumulus flash plugin, and used it to display our automatic tags.

Static

This was developed for those people who can't install Javascript on their site, such as bloggers using Wordpress.com, but who fancy automatic tags. All you do is add an image tag, with the URL of the widget you want eg <img src="http://tinyurl.com/n5oohg">

Cloud/List

One widget, two views. This was one of our original attempts at visualization.

How can I manipulate the tags I see?

Width and Height

Fairly self-explanatory

Heading

Somewhat misleading. In the Flash example, what you type here appears at the bottom, oherwise, it appears at the top. Leave it as "none", if you want nothing.

Display Style

Covered above

Pick a URL or Twitter ID

Make sure that any URL is preceded by http:// or https://. Click "Add More?" if you need more space for urls, or Twitter ID's

Font Size (px)

Pick the font size for your smallest tag

Tag size increase (px)

There are 14 potential sizes for tag, and this dictates the increase between each, starting from Font Size

Maximum number of results

Important if you are using the Flash widget in particular. Too many, and it clogs the screen. If you are brave, set it to 0 for unlimited

Filter level

This is a "noise" filter, which determines the type of tags you will get. It's best to fiddle with this a bit to get the type of results you are after

Colors

These determine the look and feel of the widget

Get a TinyURL

If you are looking to manually install the widget on a page (and don't use the automatic features of Widgetbox), this will give you a shortened version of the URL to use in an IFrame or img tag. For example, an IFrame for the opening flash widget on this page is <iframe width="530" height="380" src="http://tinyurl.com/n7zznk">No iframe, no cry.</iframe>

Get a Wordpress.com widget

You can't install JavaScript widgets on Wordpress.com - However, we have adapted our widget so it displays a static image of a Tag Cloud instead, and once you click on it, you get the Flash version.

If you want it to tag your blog page automatically, click "Clear All" under the "Pick a URL or Twitter ID" section (otherwise select those URL's/Twitter feeds you want to mash up), then click the Get a Wordpress.com widget button. Copy and paste the code.

Go to your WP.com widgets page (http://your-blog-name/wp-admin/widgets.php or Appearance -> Widgets), select a "Text" widget, and paste the code in there. There is an example at MyMission2's blog.

UPDATE: Try the altogether better version on its own dedicated page here.

I'm finding it a bit slow

There are a lot of factors at work here. We cache as much as we can, but a lot of processing is performed live. Partly it relates to the speed at which we can retrieve the URL's you put in. The image rendering and text analysis are both highly processer intensive even in a multi-server environment..

If you put a widget on your site, we cache it for about an hour, so no-one waits too long to see the end result. Future (probably paid) enhancements will call the page regularly to a) see if there have been any updates, and b)to ensure that the image is always up-to-date so there is no delay in rendering.