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ClustrMaps major widget rollout on Edublogs.org February 19, 2008

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.
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ClustrMaps is now available as a 1-click drag-and-drop widget on the WordPress-powered and highly popular Edublogs.org family of blogs.

Edublogs, which now hosts over 100,000 bloggers in the educational communtiy, has today rolled out a ton of new capabilities, including much richer multiple language support, themes, widgets, etc; ClustrMaps is proud to be part of that rollout, and wishes the best of luck – and a hearty thanks – to the Edublogs.org team! Read their announcement here.]

The idea is simple, but the execution has involved some warmly-welcome cooperation from the Edublogs.org team. The end result is a much easier method for adding ClustrMaps as a ‘sidebar widget’ in your blog. Right now this applies only to Edublogs.org users, although we aim to roll this out much more widely in the very near future.

Below, we describe the main difference, primarily for brand new signups at Edublogs.org:

Old (regular) way: to get a thumbnail map on your blog, you need to
1. go to the ClustrMaps Get one! page
2. link from there to the registration page
3. fill in your URL and email
4. submit
5. check your email for your fresh password
6. go to the Admin page
7. sign in with URL and fresh password
8. copy the HTML
9. edit your blog sidebar by dragging a text widget (or similar)
10. paste the HTML you copied at step 8.

Widgeted (new) way… [don’t forget to go to your login/dashboard “Presentation… widgets…” screen first!]
1. edit your blog sidebar by dragging the ClustrMaps widget [similar to 9 above]
2. open the widget’s options to fill in your email – the URL is already there, and save it

That’s it… the no-brainer simplicity of true widgets. For widget developers and bloggers this may seem like a kind of obvious ‘so what?’ step, but there’s more here than meets the eye: The real news is that this requires the buy-in of the hosting service, because we ask for a few extra things over and above many simple widgets: First, we ask for the user to agree to our terms and conditions, which is a way of ensuring that there are no odd side-effects if someone misuses the maps, fakes traffic, suffers an attack that affects our own servers, etc. Second, we ask the user to supply an email address so that we can provide personalised user support in case of questions or difficulties, and also to allow a route for people to go into their (custom) Admin pages on ClustrMaps.com and edit some of the options if they want (more will be coming soon, like customised look), and to upgrade to ClustrMaps+ . We are very careful to be up-front about what we ask for, and not to provide any hidden code or tricks. And of course the user’s email address is never used for anything other than a rare service announcement from us.

We welcome our new community of users, and thanks again to James and the rest of the team at Edublogs!

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