The Wibiya Toolbar

You might have been seeing the toolbar at the bottom of the Lab showing up on a variety of blogs and websites lately.   It is a beta application with the catchy name Wibiya.   You can apply for a beta invite by clicking on the toolbar itself which will take you to their site.   I got my invite a couple of days after applying.

Here are a few things you should know.

  1. It is beta, there might be a few issues (but none I’ve seen so far that are deal breakers or site breakers for that matter)
  2. You can only have it on one site per email.   If you want to put it on two or more sites you have to have an account with a separate email address for each.   (I have gmail accounts for each of my sites)
  3. There is no documentation other than an online forum style of question and answer, nothing you can download and read
  4. In order to submit questions you have to join an online forum service and setup an account.
  5. When submitting a question you will be asked a “touchy feely” how do you feel about this question. (the most annoying thing about the entire process.)   My suggestion: Leave things like “I’m feeling confused and alone in the dark”   or “I’m feeling happy, and depressed at the same time”.   There are others I would suggest to mess with their heads but . . .

Here is what the Dashboard looks like:

Wibiya Dashboard

Wibiya Dashboard

Translate your site into 20 languages

I don’t know how well this feature works but there are 20 languages from which to chose.     Pick one and the blog is rendered in that language.   How good that translation is . . . ?   You get to decide, but it is a nice thing to offer those that come from other countries seeking information and possibly get your site bookmarked if they know they can get a translation of the content (may it be a poor one) into their own language.

Facebook   Community and Fan page Integration

I’ve recently created a Facebook business page for the Lab.   Do I need a Facebook business page for the Lab?   Not really, but I wanted to learn how to create and customize one.   So far I’ve learned that setting up hosting and building a blog is easier than creating and customizing facebook fan page.   I’ll be adding more to that set of pages in the coming days.   One of the nice things is you can let readers become a Facebook fan or community member from the toolbar instead of giving up precious sidebar real estate for this.

Twitter Integration

This makes it even easier for your readers to Tweet a post.   The shortened url for the post is already in the tweet ready for a reader to send it off.   This too saves on sidebar real estate.

Share This Post/Site Whatever

You can share this and I don’t need to go into share this . . .   Right?

Search This Site or The Web

Your reader came here but the page they landed on doesn’t look like what they were searching for.   They can enter the search phrase on the toolbar search.   When you hit enter a window will open with search results in a window.       If you want to search the web instead of the site, click on the little icon to the right of the search box and select “web search”   You can now search the web for more information right from the toolbox.   Why is this nice?

  1. It’s geeky, we all love geeky stuff on our sites.   It makes us look like we are tech savy.
  2. It keeps them on our site.   Remember “Bounce Rate”!   If they site search they are still on board.   If they web search they are still on board till they click off, we gain a few more seconds of on site time.

Recent Posts & Random Post

Recent posts provides a list with thumbnails of the last 10 posts on the site. This is   a fast way to use the not so way back look at what was written about in the recent past.   Random Post?   This one I’m mystified about, why anyone would want to randomly read something I’ve written is beyond me.   I’m not that interesting that you would want to randomly spin the wheel on the way back machine and see what I’ve said in the past.   But it is in the toolbar if you want to take it for a spin.

The Photo Gallery

I think that X you see is supposed to be a butterfly that is linked to a set of photos of my choosing from Flickr.   Right now I have it pointed to A flickr set I took on a recent trip to UC Irvine Campus.   You can use this on a local blog to show a set of images from a recent event, or from last years event coming up soon.   You can use it as a quick way to introduce new readers to your community through images.   If you change the set mention it in a post or set up a new notifier.

Quick tip here: If you set this up what is wanted where it says “Flickr Album” is the set number for the flickr set you want to show up.   Not the URL just the set number.

The Notifier

From the dashboard you can create a welcome to your site.   (This is done by default when you first set up the toolbar.   You can change the notify message and include a link.   This will only appear once so it isn’t bugging your readers every time they refresh the page, go to an new post etc. But if you change the message they will see the new message the next time they come to the site.

You can’t edit a notifier message, so if you want to correct a typo or change the link you create a new notice.

Summary of Wibiya Toolbar

You can’t change the order in which the widgets appear on the toolbar (at least not yet) but you can decide what you want on the toolbar.   As little or as much.   Don’t have a Facebook fan page.   Don’t add it to the toolbar.   No flickr photos to show, don’t set one up.

I like the fact that it saves me a lot of room in my sidebar.   Oh, I didn’t mention this but you get to pick a color scheme to match your site for toolbar appearance.   Choose wisely.   There is no option to change this that I can find.

You can use this as a plugin on your WordPress site or place a script if you don’t have a WP site.

This is a beta application.   For the Techno geek that wants the latest (but not necessarily the greatest) gee whiz tool then Wibiya is a sure winner for you.

Comments

  1. I also put it on my site and so far I got to say I am pretty impressed. A couple of features that really stand out for me are:
    – search field always there (no need for users to scroll to the top of a page or wherever you have your search field.
    – The Flickr integration using cooliris. Looks cool and is able to add a new dimension to what you present. It’s kind of like an “Oh, hey, did you know I take some cool photos, too?” thing.
    – The translate is neat but I don’t know how much it will help us realtors out (after all, you can can read the site in Chinese but I can’t read your email if you send me one because I don’t speak/read chinese at all.
    – The notification can be neat if used effectively… I’m still out on this as it does seem a tad annoying. We’ll see what sort of response it gets from users.
    – The twitter link is neat, too. You don’t need a “tweet this” button anymore on your posts.

    And the #1 feature: It’s completely collapsible. Don’t like it? Close it. Win-win for everyone.

    As long as it doesn’t impede site load times then I am all for adding useful and cool functionality. Well done Wibiya!

    BTW, you site, REBL, is a little too wide for my screen. If I ctrl- then I can shrink it down but you might want to still be designing your sites for smaller screens. I’d go with a content area no larger than 960px.
    .-= Will´s last blog ..In Brief for 2009-08-31 =-.

  2. WIll,

    Thanks for your input on Wibiya toolbar. I agree with everything you pointed out.

    As to site design, I’m a geek going for the 1024, I figure if it is too big most people will simply do as you say control key scroll to make it smaller on screen.. It would take a lot of time to make the theme smaller at this point.

    I just checked I’m at 1040. I’m even more of a geek than I thought. I guess size does matter.

    Dave

  3. Wow, I like this. I just became a fan of your facebook website in about 30 seconds. I can see how this could be a powerful tool.
    .-= Mike Harrison´s last blog ..Orem Mortgage grant money available =-.

  4. Powerful add-on!

  5. Sounds like a very powerful add-on! I am going to have to give it a try. By the way I love your theme (I have the same one).
    .-= Florida Real Estate Blogger´s last blog ..Florida Golf & Country Clubs =-.

  6. It is an interesting theme. I made few modification. The colors work well for Florida. Great use if images on your posts and blog. Not many take the time but it really makes the site look rich with the magazine theme.