29 August 2011

3 Free chat widgets for Blogger Blog

If you are interesting in adding high level of interactivity to your Blogger Blog, you may consider embedding one of the free chat widgets to your web pages. That will give your visitors an opportunity to discuss in real time the blog content, share ideas, and provide instant comments.

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While there are multiple services offering their products to the blog publishers, we will review just few selected.

  1. Chatroll (http://chatroll.com/)
Chatroll allows adding chat room to your blogger blog with great ease, in matter of minutes. First, go to Chatroll, enter your community’s name in the “Name Your Live Community…” box and click “Create”. Choose a name that fits your blog, and this name will serve as a title for your chat box. It is recommended to invest some time in writing an attractive and detailed description for your chat room purposes, so that people can easily find your new Chatroll community. Detailed instructions on how to embed your new chat room into your Blogger blog are provided here.

Free plan allows chatting in your chat room for up to 10 users simultaneously. Any time, you can upgrade your plan to the payable more features-rich plans, and even utilize the income sharing moneymaking opportunities, offered by the service developers.

  1. Shoutmix (http://www.shoutmix.com/main/index.php)
Shoutmix is one of the most popular on the market services, adding live chat capabilities to your blog. You will be able to get instant feedback and great user interaction with this shoutbox chat widget. As with most of the chat room widgets, you will have to register your shoutbox widget first. Detailed instructions on how to embed your new chat room into your Blogger blog are provided here.

Basic free account gives you comprehensive set of features and capabilities to start with, like supporting up to 100 users and storing 150 posts in your shoutbox. You can always upgrade to the Premium account, which will cost you $2/month for more capabilities.

  1. Freeshoutbox (http://www.freeshoutbox.net/)
If you prefer service which is totally free with no free and paid plans, as in most other offerings, you may take a look at Freeshoutbox.net. Integration is fast and simple, and you have multiple (more than 200) templates to choose from in order to match the shoutbox design to your blog structure. Detailed instructions on how to embed your new chat room into your Blogger blog are provided here.

Service is free, with unlimited bandwidth and auto-refresh rate 6/minute, but you will get unobtrusive advertising at the bottom of the widget.

20 August 2011

Adding music to Blogger – an easy way!

There are multiple solutions for those, who would like to add music collection to the Blogger blog. If you have the music and entertainment related resources, most likely, you already have the more or less professional solution, while you keep the audio files on your own or web based server, and you broadcast them through the embedded audio player. However, for those who need to illustrate the post with the music collection occasionally, the presented solution might be quite handy.

iLike is a social music discovery service and the dominant music application on the Facebook and Google platforms, which is now a subsidiary of MySpace since 2009. For our purposes, iLike.com allows creating a playlist of chosen songs and adding music to Blogger, Typepad, or, in fact, any web site, for free. For Blogger, you don't even need to mess with the HTML code - you create a playlist and then hit the Add to Blogger button.

What is iLike.com?

iLike.com is a free service that lets you create playlists of songs you want and share them with friends. Additionally, you can download free MP3 song files from new artists, learn about concerts, watch videos uploaded by artists and much more. The community run web site lets you follow changing music tastes and access popular songs.

How to create a playlist of songs and add it to your blog?

Though there is a glaring orange signup button when you go to iLike homepage, you actually don't need to register for an account just to create a playlist of songs. Point your browser to embeddable playlist page (http://www.ilike.com/playlist/create_embedded).

You can now start creating the playlist - follow the five steps outlined in the image below.

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  • Step 1: Enter a name for the playlist - this can be anything you want. A descriptive name is recommended.
  • Step 2: Search for a song by either entering an artist or the song name in the search field.
  • Step 3: Search results will be listed. I recommend trying to locate a song by its name because if the search is performed on the artist's name, only 10 results will be displayed and the song you are looking for might not be shown. Click on the "Add" button to include the song in the playlist.
  • Step 4: Organize your playlist. You can also reorder the song listing by either entering a new order number or using the conveniently provided arrow buttons. To delete a song from the list simply hit the "Delete" (the one with the cross) button.
  • Step 5: Click on the large "Done" button when you are satisfied with the playlist and are ready to add it to blogger.

The next page shows you how the playlist is going to look on a web page - on Blogger, as we shall see, the playlist is added as a widget which you can place at different positions on the web page. You also get the direct link (the URL) of you playlist on iLike.com website. With a single click you can also put the list on your Facebook profile page or tweet it on Twitter (where else?). You don't need to fiddle around with the HTML code if you just want to include the playlist on Blogger.

Add the music playlist to Blogger

Click on the large "Add to Blogger" button in the middle of the page. A new browser window shall open in which you need to enter your blogger username and password. You will now find yourself in the Layout -> Page elements page. Place the playlist in the blog as you want and save the changes. Note: it's added as a widget. Review your blog and tell everyone about it.

If you need to add this playlist to any other web site, you can get the related code you can embed it anywhere with ease.

This review is performed by Web Developers Notes Blog.

The service drawback is that you cannot upload your own files to the playlist, and the fact that not all the tracks you may find through the search are in fact playable.


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