With the #ksyb Teacher Challenge over, there’s been much interest and promotion of using Twitter to build one’s PLN. In one of the #ksyb participants blogs I visited, there was a question on how to create a Follow Me on Twitter widget. I would normally just respond on the comment but thought a post would work better because of potentially (and I mean potentially) bigger readership, ease of access/sharing and I can show html code a lot easier – most blog comments accept html tags and so will not show code.
For all these options, you first have to create a place to embed the necessary html code.
The Simple Way
The simplest widget would be a plain hyperlink. This is how I had it when I first started a year ago.
Copy/Paste the following and change the handle (mine is malynmawby) to your Twitter handle. You can change “me” to your Twitter handle if you like.
<a href=”http://www.twitter.com/malynmawby”>Follow me on Twitter</a>
The Graphical Way
This is what I’ve got now (look on the top right) using a site that provides Twitter icons – TwitterIcon.com. There are plenty there and I chose the most popular one, not because it was popular but rather that I like it very much. Anyway, you just type in your Twitter handle and copy the embed code. Unfortunately, the default image size is too big for my liking so I scaled it down (changed code are in bold).
<a href=”http://www.twitter.com/malynmawby” title=”Follow me on Twitter”><img src=”http://www.twittericon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/glossy-cute-blue1.png” alt=”Twitter Icon” border=”0″ height=”100″/></a>by <a href=’http://www.twittericon.com’ title=’Custom Twitter Icon’>Custom Icon</a>
You don’t have to copy the code above if you go direct to TwitterIcon.com. If you do copy my code above, then you must remember to change the Twitter handle to yours.
The Creative Individual Way
This is what I’d like to do one day. That is, I’d like to design a Twitter graphic of a bird (maybe I’ll crochet one like @MrsSOnline (see below, isn’t it just adorable?). This combines the ideas behind the two above. This means I have to:
- Create a graphic file (take a picture, digital drawing, conjure random shapes in PhotoShop, and the like)
- Upload the graphic into my media library
- Write up some html code not unlike my Love2Learn Badge widget
So there you have it, a few ways to create a Twitter widget. If you can suggest any more, please write on the comment or maybe post about it and ping back here so I can update mine.
Addendum: I think it’s a good idea to have a link to your blog on your Twitter profile as well. So even as your blog points to your Twitter feed, vice versa would hold as well. This allows others a chance to get to know you a little bit better and a shortcut to your blog in case you’re not in their RSS Reader. It all helps in keeping the conversations going.