Add Platial Maps Widget to Your WordPress.com Blog

As you can see there have been a few changes around here. I found some motivation from somewhere and decided to update the widgets and ended up with a whole new look. I am still working on a few things but if you find something that isn’t quite right let me know. Since I was editing the widgets for the new theme I came across a new widget for WordPress.com users. It looks like I got the hop on the WordPress guys on this one as they are yet to release it.

You will notice in the sidebar widgets that there is now a Platial Mapkit widget available. Add it to your sidebar and it will show a mini map of the starting location that you specify when you set it up. Cool, but it gets better, you can add places with placemarks and readers can add their own with comments. Tag placemarks, add users as buddies and more.

Platial Mapkit Widget SampleThe Widget displayed is the one you see here. My options have been included but you can make yours up to whatever you wish. You will have to create an account if you wish to use the widget in your blog. I have also added a placemark for the approximate location of this blog’s HQ, so you can see what they look like.

The map is powered by Google Maps and therefore includes either a map view a satellite view or a mix. As well as zooming in and out and all the usual Google Map goodness. I also noticed a Google Earth link on my homepage map I set up on Platial to take a look at it.

I have not added the widget to this blog, I’d rather keep the lines that I do and not stuff it full of other stuff. Plus it is another thing I have to keep track of if it was here. Although the map I created is available to view, you can see it here. Platial is not only open to WordPress.com users but all bloggers and site designers. So if this is your cup of tea then take a look. The design is simple and to the point and the size is good for a blog, it will fit most if not all blog sidebars. I had not heard of the service before now but it looks pretty good and a bit of fun.

WordPress.com users need to click the link on the widget when it is selected in the set-up. The link is in the text “Making maps at Platial is free”.

Create an account and configure it as you wish. It is fairly simple and straight forward. You can edit these settings easily after you have joined as well so don’t worry too much if you make a mistake.

The last bit is a bit tricky, since I had no “instructions” from the guys here at WordPress I had to work it out. The widget asks you to type in the “Platial Map Id:”. This is the last digits that you see at the end of the Bookmark for your map widget that you have created. That is the Map Id that you need to enter into the widget field and hit submit.

Once that is done just slide the widget into place on your sidebar and save the changes and your done. WordPress we have maps!

Platial Screenshot

Submit Your Best Posts

Don’t forget WordPress.com users that you can submit what you think is your best stuff to the FanPop WordPress.com spot.

For that matter if any visitor to WordPress sees a great post then submit it to FanPop. Someone might not think to do it or underestimates their work. Visitors to WordPress; feel free to head over and cast your rank for the stories there.

FanPop Logo for Blog Posts

To make life easier for WordPress.com users I created a small logo for linking to the FanPop page for WordPress, it you want it then please feel free to download it and place it in your posts. You will need to link it to the page or wherever you like – it is just an image. Or you may find some other use for it, perhaps in the sidebar or something. I got the original from the FanPop Blog, if you want to have a bigger one.

It is good to see that there are more of us getting into the FanPop page. Plus after having a poke around the FanPop site it is actually a very good site I am glad that I joined. Keep it up and we will have a nice way to see some of the best posts on WordPress.com. Also please visit //engtech who’s idea it was.

I think that it is also an extension of the great community here at WordPress. It would be good to think in the long term that a good solution is found “in-house”. But I don’t think that is going to happen in a hurry. This is a great alternative until then and lets the admins know what WordPress users would like to see.

Just so you know, I am going into the quiet part of the week. This is the few days where the podcast is prepared for, recorded, edited and all the other stuff that goes with it. So the blog is a tad quiet over this time. But that means that you have to keep an eye out for the next installment of The Global Geek Podcast!

Name Servers Changing, Last Chance!

Just a last minute warning that I am changing the name servers for The Global Geek Podcast. What does that mean?

I am redirecting traffic via the http://www.globalgeekpodcast.com url to the new site as of tonight. So that when anyone punches in the http://www.globalgeekpodcast URL, they will be redirected to here:  http://globalgeek.thepodcastnetwork.com. Simple really. It may take up to 48 hours to resolve though so be patient.
But remember that the feed URL has changed! Either get those details from my previous post or the new homepage.

This might seem like a bit of fuss and bother but DNS management and redirection is a great thing. For a start we do not have to remember a new URL and neither do you. Once I have changed the redirect then you will be taken to the new page. It does not matter where the podcast is hosted the http://www.globalgeekpodcast.com URL will always point to it. Cool isn’t it?

But what it does mean is pesky reminders from me! So have a look at my previous post for any further details. Or there is a widget at the top of my blog that will point you in the right direction!

LibSyn Player Removed!

Well the Global Geek Podcast has been going very well. The website is working great, accept for the LibSyn Player; which has been broken for nearly two weeks.

LibSyn PlayerThe player is just a web page application that allows people to "stream" the audio directly from the web page. It is also detachable so you can surf the net and listen to the show. About twelve days ago, after the upload of show number 004 (I think) it broke. It failed to update with the new show and the situation stayed that way. For me the player does not work at all. For others it might play any show that we have published, at random! Not good.

You might think that this is a minor thing, but you would be surprised to learn that this is the way that most people listen to the show. The majority of people appear to not know about aggregators or "podcatchers". So the fact that it is broken is really affecting our statistics, we have seen jumps in other episodes that should not have occurred and a downturn in the numbers for the most recent show. We are fairly sure that it is related to the player not working. Part of trying to combat this was to put the WordPress Podcast Widget on this blog, you can go to the streaming page and listen to the podcast from this and download the podcast with the right click "save as" command. But it was not a total solution. We have also tried to search for a decent player from somewhere else but we are having trouble finding one that us gumby people can put on the page and looks good.

So after all this and three emails to Liberated Syndication I have removed the player from the site, I just hope that people click the "POD" button to listen to the show or download it manually or preferably subscribe to the show using a podcatcher of some description. I recommend Juice as a free option, open source and it works. For a payed version of an integrated podcatcher and RSS reader I recommend FeedDemon.

Still hoping to get the player fixed and reinstated on the website but until LibSyn get back to me my hands are tied. Normally they are good with support but on this they have sucked.

Global Geek Podcast 004 is Out Now: Go Get Some Geek

Well I am very happy with the end result of the published podcast. If you have not listened to it before now then please give it a go.

I was very, very peeved that I initially lost two and a half hours worth of editing work. I am not sure what I did in Audacity but I think in blaming myself I am blaming the right person and "thing". So tonight I sat down and started again, from the beginning. Now I am very pleased to be finished. I had a lot of editing and splicing of tracks to do in this one, which was a challenge but well rewarded in the end product. I am leaning heaps as I go.

The one thing that I was absolutely stoked about was the fact that the audio levels were spot on, I had to do very little stuffing around using the compressor. I did normalize the final edit and amplify it and that's it. Setting our levels is always tricky with the methods that we are employing to record as I might have said before. But the attention to detail has been worth it.

One thing that has irritated me is the fact that when I uploaded the podcast tonight the LibSyn player in the top right of the page did not update! So please if you listen to it using this method please either download it, or click the symbol next to the post with "POD" on it. Alternatively the widget here has been updated so that you can listen to it from here! I have shot off an email to LibSyn and await a response from them. I do know though that over the last couple of days they have been working on their servers so this might be the reason. Also because of this, if you can not connect to the website please try in an hour, as LibSyn believe that this is the only length of down-time to expect.

Other than that, enjoy the show!