Building a Better Blogroll: Dynamic Fun with SimplePie and jQuery, by Chris Coyier
A traditional blogroll is a simple list of other sites, often in the sidebar, that are related, owned by, or otherwise friendly to the home site. Blogrolls are a great idea and on-point with the spirit of blogging, but how is a casual reader to know if any of these sites are truly of interest? Let’s improve upon the concept of a blogroll by not just listing sites, but dynamically pulling recent headlines from them, and using some fun jQuery animation.The Idea and the Technologies
For our example, we will be using the TUTS family of sites. The idea here is to build a “widget” (for lack of a better term). Along the top of our widget will be a line of logos from each of the different sites in our blogroll. The TUTS family have lovely simple block logos which will make this easy, but the concept could be adapted to any logo. Each of the logos will act as “tabs” or buttons which when clicked, will display recent headlines from the respective site. Here is quick overview of the technologies we will use
- Of course we will be using XHTML/CSS to build and style the widget.
- We will use jQuery and the Coda Slider plugin for the fun animation.
- The recent headlines will be dynamically pulled using PHP and SimplePie.
Because of the use of PHP, you won’t be able to download the source code, open it up on your local machine, and view the demo. You’ll need to either run PHP on your local machine, or upload it to your own server to play with it.