The Word on Widgets

Posted by matt on Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 10:40am

What began as a quiet rumble is becoming a roar: the world wants IndieBound web widgets! I'm glad the site is getting to a point where there's a demand for these things. Short answer:

Yes.

Long answer: Yes, but there's much on the agenda. There's still quite a bit of backend work to be done with books on IndieBound.org. The Book Search is, of course, up and running, but there's a lot of gruesome metadata that just isn't being dealt with properly yet. The Wish Lists are a simple, straightforward enough function, but ultimately our roadmap calls for books to be imported as Nodes. That means Full Drupal Citizenship--right now they've only got a Green Card, and they've got another three months of classes and memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance before they get to toss their hats in the air and hug their families. There's also a lot of important Drupal integration I'd like to do with the Indie Next List and Indie Bestsellers before building any widgets that use those, or else I'll just have to toss that (widget) code and start over again. All of this is behind-the-scenes stuff, and incredibly boring, but at this point it's about building a robust foundation for future functionality. An IndieBound API will have to be part of this, too, of course.

Integration with the new ABA E-Commerce Sites is also a priority for IndieBound.org, and to some extent our timetable is tied to theirs.

That said, here's some things I'd like to see done with widgets (many of which have already been suggested), in the order in which I think they'd be possible:

  • Store Finder Widget - Not hard, but would require a few changes to the Indie Store Finder, which is already overdue for some tweaks. iCal'd: reread the Google Maps API.
  • My Wish List Widget - Embed your Wish List on a blog or elsewhere. Will try to work on this when I can.
  • Indie Next List/Indie Bestsellers Carousel - Will need to wait until boys become men, and books become nodes.
  • "Swiss Army Knife" Widgets - Multifunction widgets for profiles, books (add to Wish List, buy from an Indie...), etc. Probably not coming until there's much more functionality with books in the Indie Community.

In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to incorporate IndieBound into your blog or website:

Affiliate and non-Affiliate Link Generators will make links to Shop Local Online.

Banners & Blinkies can go just about anywhere.

XML Feeds exist for Indie Bestsellers, as well as the Indie Next List:

http://www.indiebound.org/files/bsbl-0-1.xml Hardcover Fiction
http://www.indiebound.org/files/bsbl-0-2.xml Hardcover Nonfiction
http://www.indiebound.org/files/bsbl-0-3.xml Trade Paperback Fiction
http://www.indiebound.org/files/bsbl-0-4.xml Paperback Nonfiction
http://www.indiebound.org/files/bsbl-0-5.xml Mass Market
http://www.indiebound.org/files/bsbl-0-7.xml Children's Illustrated
http://www.indiebound.org/files/bsbl-0-8.xml Children's Interest

http://www.indiebound.org/files/nextlist/next.xml Indie Next List
http://www.indiebound.org/files/nextlist/notables.xml Indie Next List Notables

Interest Tags: WIDGETS

Comments

SarahRettger's picture

You win

... the metaphor-of-the-day award. Many times over.

Sarah Rettger
ABA marketing coordinator

RichR's picture

Go Nodes!

Cool. Drooling with anticipation.

Rich

michale hinkey's picture

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cvanhasselt's picture

Wordpress.com

I've looked at the widgets and they look great. Unfortunately, as they incorporate Javascript, they can't be used on Wordpress.com. Wordpress.com is particularly picky about not allowing any Javascript functionality. Self-hosted Wordpress, not a problem, though. Personally, I think Wordpress is being overly cautious but they know their business better than I do. In the mean time, please make sure to include simple non-JS widgets for Wordpress.com users.

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