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November 16, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Gravatar, ooVoo, and Farsi

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Happy Monday, folks! This week, we’ve got some new Movable Type plugins in the Plugins Directory. First, though, for those of you that want to keep up with the MT community, check out the excellent Twitter list assembled by Ken Edwards. Follow that list for constant updates from the MT crowd.

Now, for this week’s new plugins:

ooVoo Web Video Chat Room — The ooVoo service lets you video chat with up to six people at a time. This plugin makes it easy to embed an ooVoo chat room into any page of your site. It includes some basic settings for controlling the size and look of the chat.

Gravatar for Movable Type — Most people are familiar with the universal avatar service Gravatar — we use it here, in fact. This plugin, from Makoto Kawasaki, adds Gravatars to the comments on your blog.

Movable Type Farsi — This one is for the Farsi-speaking bloggers. Created by Pouya Salimi, the plugin expands MT’s support for right-to-left writing. It also adds a Farsi Calendar, Farsi tags, and a Farsi version of the Professional Pack Template Set.

That’s it for this week. Got some MT news for us? Let us know in the comments.

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July 28, 2008

WTF Blog Design Elements: Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes

In this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve talked about blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges and calendar archives, two of the many elements many use to clog up their blog’s sidebar. “Clutter” is a matter of perspective. If these added design elements really work for your blog, serve your blog’s purpose, and enhance the reader’s experience, leave them. In fact, put them at the top where they are the first thing people will see next to your post title and content beginnings. Promote them. If they are that important, let them stand out.

If they are not important, then they do become clutter.

One of the most popular blog clutters are the Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes that many feel are important elements to a blog’s design.

The web is now social. People are experimenting with all types of methods to bring the social to their blogs and emphasize how social their blogs are – or at least appear to be. Among the most popular and easy to do are most recent comment widgets and chatting shout boxes. read more

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