Archive for the ‘widgets’ Category

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Widget Contest Winners

Back in March we updated the widgets for sharing a bit of your LibraryThing library on your blog or other web page. We asked for your best widget design, and a bunch of you delivered the goods. I know its been over a month since the contest closed, and would like to assure you that this is at least 80% due to making cool new things for LibraryThing, and only 20% due to the creation of a company skateboarding gang. Such is Springtime.

First Prize. These five winners get a one year membership to the site. Transferable to a loved one if desired. Also their choice of a CueCat or t-shirt. The top 3 will go into the preset styles list on the make widget page.

paradoxosalpha‘s entry reminds me of a math classroom. I’m going to put it in the preset styles as “classroom.” Steal it.

Besides having a great comic collection, stephmo displays them with gusto. Many users do a cool things using the tags from their library to create themed widgets, with a background style to match. Look for it in the preset styles as “shazam.” Steal it.

gordon361 submits another one in green. The covers that float through here are often biographies, military, or history related, and they look very at home on this poker table green background. Its going in the presets as “Poker Table.” Steal it.

pratchettfan‘s widget looks very at home on his blog where it resides. I like his use of color matching. Steal it.

poxd painted outside the lines a bit, using our API and some code from Yahoo to create this. It was too good not to reward.

Second Prize. These 10 winners will recieve their choice of a CueCat or t-shirt.

In no particular order (links go to the widget):

Everyone who submitted to the Contest threads will recieve a laptop/car sticker, a real-world widget.

If you’re one of the entrants, send a comment to user timspalding or email to claim your prize. Include your member name, mailing address, and choice of prize, if applicable.

(post by Luke, not Tim)

Labels: contests, widgets

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Collections in Widgets and Import

The new collections feature is making its way around the site. Two new features now, thanks to Mike:

Collections in widgets
There’s a new option on the widget builder page that allows you to show books only from designated collection(s). Make a widget that shows off your “Currently reading” collection, or your “wishlist”!

Talk post about it.

Collections in import
Want to import books directly into your wishlist? Or another collection? The Universal Import now makes that possible. After you upload your file, you can pick which collection to put all the books into.

Talk post about it.

Labels: collections, import, widgets

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Last call for best blog widgets…

I forgot to close the Best Widget competition, so I’m going to extend it to 5:00 Friday, May 1.

Post your submissions here.

Labels: widgets

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

LibraryThing Best Widget Contest

The new widgets came with a bunch of pre-defined styles—of varying quality. But they also have sharing built in, so members can come up with better ones, and let people know about them.

So, why not a contest?

  • Submit your widgets to this Talk thread (
  • Widgets can be of any type—as simple, complex, staid or way-out as you like. You can use your own CSS or JavaScript, but you certainly don’t have to.
  • You can submit up to five widgets, but post only one message. Edit if you need to.
  • If you want, share where you put the widget, or where you plan to.
  • Go ahead and name your widgets, comment on what you were trying to do.
  • Post the “Share with other LibraryThing members” link (e.g., this). Posting the script won’t work.

The Reward.

Let’s see what you can do!

UPDATE: Luke added a feature to the “share with other LT member” that shows it with *their* books first. You can change it to work with yours instead. This only applies to URLs made now, so edit old ones?



Labels: contests, widgets

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Widgets get a lot better

We’ve just brought live new, improved widgets, available from the make widget page.

Some highlights:

  • New “animated” style cycles through your covers in a oddly mesmerizing way.
  • Widgets are extensively customizable, so you can fit them to your blog without any special knowledge.
  • Power users can do more, with Javascript and CSS customization. Check out Chris’ blog for stylish use.*
  • The new widgets are shareable (an example) so members can show off and swap styles. (Yes, we’ll be having a widget-creation contest soon.)
  • Widget links don’t go off somewhere, but open up a slick lightbox “mini-book” page, with your information and (optional) links, to LibraryThing and elsewhere. You can, of course, fill in your Amazon Associates code, if you want to make money off your widget.
  • Widgets now include (optionally) tags, ratings and reviews. You can filter by reviews and tags too.
  • The code is good—based on our improved JSON Books API and designed not to slow down your page (they’re “lazy-loading”). Weirdly this can make the widget look slow. That’s because it’s not slowing down the rest of the page!
  • Internationalized from the ground up.
  • Orcas, baby!

Go ahead and make a widget.

Talk about it here, or on Talk.

Luke! Widgets were helmed by new employee Luke (member: LibraryThingLuke), who wrote most of the core code, all the styling options, the share system and so forth. Other LibraryThing people helped. Chris—hard at work on collections, we promise—chipped in some attractive styles. Mike wrote the crucial cover-animation code, something he’s been working on for our upcoming Facebook application. I made sure Luke got a list of changes every morning, including at least one thing I wanted the other way the day before.

Luke offered the following thumbnail bio:

“Luke Stevens lives in Portland, Me with his wife and three kids. He enjoys single malt scotch and silver-age comic books. He rides a motorcycle from the early 80’s that elicits laughter from his evil co-workers. Twitter: saintlukas; blog:”

*Chris swears by

Labels: new feature, new features, widgets

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008


I’ve just blogged about a new Javascript/JSON API for work info over on Thingology, LibraryThing’s blog for ideas, issues, libraries and labs.

It’s mostly designed to make it easy for people to link to LibraryThing only when we have the book. You can also dress up the link with copy- and review-counts, and an average rating.

I think regular members will be more excited by a JSON API to your own books. This will allow us and members to write new widgets—widget for reviews, for example—and better widgets. I’m want to write them so that all the JavaScript code that comes out it is automatically shared between members, both legally and technically.

The work-info API is a first step. Let’s talk about this and what should come.

Labels: apis, json, widgets