Youtube tests iframe embeds

youtube iframe embed

Since I started Web-publishing, I have always heard that iframes are not a recommended solution for your Website: For some reason, they were evil, and the W3C was not approving its use as a “best practice”. I would hear that search engines crawlers hated it too.

Well, things might be changing up in here. First, a few weeks back, we could read on Inside Facebook that Facebook was actually moving away from FBML and closer to iframes. If the number one Website in the world starts to use iframes massively, I think we will all start to re-consider the W3C stand towards iframes.

Recently, Youtube has also started to test iframes for its embeds. Hence, instead of a javascript, Youtube also suggests its users to grab an iframe to embed a video wherever they want on the Web. Facebook, then Youtube, it’s already half the Web that’s turning towards iframes.

Personally, I have always had trust in iframes. The element in the sidebar of this blog is an iframe (it’s even iframes in an iframe). When you come to think about it, iframes are probably more reliable than javascript, because they can run on a javascript-disabled Webpage, and I have a feeling that iframes are just lighter and more universal than javascript embeds.

Twitter Pulled The Plug On Plain HTML Widget?

twitter birds

twitter birds

Yea, what happened to Twitter’s plain HTML widget? Today, if you follow Twitter’s links to their in-house widgets, it will only direct you to the Flash widget. It’s not that I don’t like the Flash widget, it is just that I hate it: It’s flashy and not Webdesign-friendly. It seems like Twitter wasn’t around in 2007 when Web widgets went disco and made everybody puke.

If you are looking for the old classic widget, do not worry, it did not disappear:

Yep, the classic widget is still accessible on Twitter. You just have to follow this link (it will ask you to sign in first if you are not logged in already):

http://twitter.com/widgets/html_widget

So for some reason, Twitter decided to link only to the Flash widget, but kept the plain HTML widget up-and-running secretly. What’s up with that?

It seems like something happened during the early August DOS attacks on Twitter:

No I mean the code they used to publish to let people add HTML Twitter feeds to their websites seems to have vanished ­čÖü

Could the HTML widget be a weak spot for spammers or hackers to mess up with Twitter’s infrastructure? That seems highly unlikely. Is Twitter bothered by the fact that Webdesigners can fully customize plain HTML widgets? I don’t think so either, because it is easy to code your own HMTL widget.

Here is what I think: Twitter doesn’t really want to eradicate the plain HTML widget, but it really wants to push the Flash widget. Why? I see three reasons:

  • Flash widgets show more than plain widgets, like avatars and such. Not so long ago, Twitter rolled out the search widget, which displays tweets withholding specific keywords (it’s supposed to add context to a Web page, but I don’t see it happening). Very recently, Twitter also launched the Faves widget as well. For those widgets to make sense, they need to show richer info like avatars to let Web visitors understand what’s going on. Flash also allow animations to smooth out the drop down list of 140-character messages.
  • A Flash widget, like a picture, captures more user activity. With their Flash widget, Twitter knows a little bit more how visitors interact with the widget, but also what they do around the widget. This is serious widget business stuff here.
  • Last but not least Flash widgets are one size fits all: blog, Myspace, Facebook…

So the plain HTML widget is still on Twitter, but I think that not linking to it is a way to pull the plug on it, and let it slowly run out of breath.

Friendconnect, Google Reader, Blogger, All In One Blogger Gadget

Blogger bloglist reader

blogger logo

Blogger just celebrated its ten year anniversary, and promised that a lot of goodness would start popping up in the gadgets section. That’s good news, since Blogger’s gadgets section pretty much sucks. Change is on its way, mostly thanks to Bloggerbuster: Bloggerbuster specializes in building Blogger gadgets, and shares tips on customizing your Blogger experience. Thanks to this third-party developer, Blogger now has a decent library of gadgets with elegant designs:

Recent posts, recent comments, Twitter updates, Twitpic updates, Flickr updates, Picasa updates, Google Calendar event-sharing, and my personal favorite that I still need to figure out a way to best use it: Twitter personalized real-time updates. Bloggerbuster is not Blogger’s only blessing. With a little digging in the gadgets directory, I found a Friendconnect/Reader/Blogger powered gadget that I just have to share here: The ‘blog list’ gadget.

The Blog list enables you to “show off what you read with a blogroll of your favorite blogs”. In the gadget settings, to add your friends’ blogs, you can enter the blogs by their url, or you can select from the list of blogs you follow through Google Friendconnect:

Blogger bloglist follow

Tell me this isn’t the easiest way to build a blogroll! The only flaw is that nobody uses Friendconnect to follow blogs because nobody understands yet how it works. Say no more, if you do not use Friendconnect, but have a Google Reader account, you can also select blogs from the blogs you are subscribed to:

Blogger bloglist reader

Once you created a blogroll, it generates a folder in your Google Reader that track the feeds from the blogs in the blogroll. Quite interesting!

Boost Your Twitter’s Virality With This Blog Widget

Twittercounter widget

In the series of cool widgets to promote your site through Twitter, I think I have found a number one. This widget below from Twittercounter is pretty straightforward: It shows which Twitter users last visited your site, and by hovering over it, it enables you to do two things:

  1. write to me directly to let me know that you are on my site,
  2. tweet your presence on my site to let others know what you are reading when you are reading it.

Here it is, feel free to play around with it and get your own ­čÖé

Freddy Mini On Netvibes And Individuals’ Personal Information

netvibes

I visited the Netvibes‘ office a few weeks ago to interview the CEO Freddy Mini. As usual, when there is something I like in the interview, but I know it is not going to make through the editing, I quickly render it and post it on HyveUp.

In this part of the interview, I asked Freddy Mini if Netvibes could offer a similar service that PageOnce offers. This question came to my mind simply because the two companies have a product that looks very similar (a page with a bunch of widgets basically), even though the service they offer is completely different.

I find his answer extremely interesting, and very related to where Netvibes is probably heading towards: Becoming a trusted provider of distributed content for organizations and individuals alike.

Netvibes is creating this trust by building an extremely transparent and open-source content distribution technology. Instead of pushing individuals to share their personal information with Netvibes on their site, the company opens up its platform for organizations to adopt their technology and make individuals’ personal information available through their widget solutions. The whole thing is still very conceptual I think, and maybe this is not the direction that Netvibes is heading towards. But it makes an awful lot of sense to me.