Thursday, 4 October 2007 at 19:54, mcrilf wrote...

Very cool new widget

Widgets are great and are really taking off at the moment. They're everywhere.

From Blogrush (hmmm...still reserving judgement on that one) to Widgetbucks which I'm running on my gift shopping website, to WidgetBox where you can pretty much widgetize (is that a word?!) anything as well as turn it into a Facebook application (pretty cool) in a couple of clicks.

Well, today I came across a very cool new widget - Spotback.

Essentially, it is (as you can see!) a rating widget, but there's so much more to it than that. Add a snippet of Javascript to your blog and immediately you're allowing your readers to rate each post using a very neat AJAX user interface. That's just the start. From their site...

Spotback is a personalized rating system that recommends relevant content based on personal rating history using collaborative filtering and aggregated knowledge technologies. When embedding the Spotback technology onto your website you are providing your users a unique personal online experience. When they rate your content, they will immediately be exposed to more relevant content from your website. This results in longer visit lengths, increase in page views and guaranteed user satisfaction.

The fact that it shows related content right in the widget makes it very easy for your readers to jump to other posts - which is great for you since you're engaging your readership much more.

As a user of the widget, it saves your personal ratings and learns as you go - so it is then able to recommend other content which it thinks you might like.

They have three widget types - slider (for ratings), stars (for ratings, but different style) and sidebar (for serving related content). The latter of these also automatically generates tag clouds. All widgets are very customisable so you can match them to your blog very easily. I've left mine with default settings for the moment, other than changing the colour of the link text to fit in with my design.

The last really cool thing about this widget is that all rated content then gets aggregated into a news site, kind of like digg but with the ability to completely personalise which channels you're interested in. You can build your own news page layout and even include RSS feeds from any other site.

You can see Spotback in action below - try it out. What do you think of it?

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On 7 October 2007 at 23:46, Donald Mckenzie Jr said...

Thanks for the information. I will be adding the spotback widget as soon as possible. This is a great blog.

On 13 October 2007 at 10:13, mcrilf said...

Thanks for the feedback Donald. Glad you're finding the blog useful. Don't forget to subscribe to the rss feed :)