IGoogle … Do you ? … recently i had time to play with this and began to unravel the wonders that Google has been releasing as open source style code for a while now. Gadgets and Charting … what next ? .. This article will show you a few demo gadgets we have made that we are sure you could expand on.
IGoogle, ( http://www.google.com/ig ) what is it, well if we use wikipedia we find that it was (formerly Google Personalized Homepage and Google IG), a service of Google, is a customizable AJAX-based startpage much like Netvibes, Pageflakes, My Yahoo! and Windows Live Personalized Experience. So what does it look like , well that’s the beauty of it, you can make it look how you like by adding themes and Gadgets. Themes are the general look and feel of your browser home page and Gadgets are cool stuff like a window that tells you the weather and a window that shows you the time in all the countries that you company has offices.
So how can we use this with Dimensions, well lets show you a few things. If you have an account , and they are free, you can add things to your browser home page for example, we have created a gadget that will show you the smarter Dimensions blog in it, so you no longer have to subscribe to emails or visit the site to see what is happening, just start your browser and you will see the blog in it along with all your other gadgets. Just click the add button
and you will then see another add button, click this and our blog will be added to your IGoogle page.
so cool , you can now see our blog every time you start up your browser , but what else could you do. Well here’s an example and how you can create gadgets yourself. We have created a gadget that could be used as a Dashboard showing your executives some results to particular questions using some cool graphing features that google also provide. In this example we will show you how to show a web page in a gadget. Firstly go to this page. and you should see the following code,
making sure you put in a valid URL to re-direct to. We added our URL and made some changes to the modulePrefs section of the XML file.
width="350" thumbnail="http://www.smarterDimensions.com/images/tools.gif" screenshot="www.smarterDimensions.com/images/tools.gif" author_email="smarterDimensions@live.com.au" author="Smarter Dimensions" description="Using google charting you could make an executive dash board." title="Example Dimensions Dashboard" height="550"
Once saved and published you end up with something like this on your IGoogle page.
We added a button to our page just to see if you could interact with the page, and of course you can. If you would like to add our example to your page then you can find it here. It is just an HTML page with some iframes in and some links to the google chart API, but it would be so easy to link this to a dimensions survey and a few of the questions. All this should be enough for you to get your brain ticking and start creating. If you would like us to make you something then please feel free to contact us at admin@smarterDimensions.com and we will see what we can do.