A very compact way to save space on your blog sidebar is by using Bitty Browser.
If you notice on my sidebar check out some of the sections:
- Recent Posts
- Technorati Profile
- My Comments Elsewhere via del.icio.us
- Incoming Links via Technorati
- Related Links via Findory
- Reading List
- Latest del.icio.us bookmarks
As you can see this takes up a lot of space, one alternative is to use DHTML switch menu (via a comment from an older post)…I might get around to this one day, it’s just so neat and fun.
Another way to save space is including all this sidebar content in an OPML outline, using a service such as OPML Workstation, then displaying it in a bitty browser.
Firstly you need to create an OPML outline for your Reading List, ie. create an OPML where all the items are feeds.
Secondly you need to create an OPML outline for the Statistics, this outline will have a combination of feeds, and links…you don’t really have to make a separate OPML for “Statistics” but it will be cleaner in it’s own OPML.
Now you are ready to make the root OPML
The first node/item will be a link to the Homepage
The second node/item will be a link to the About page, or you don’t need an About page, you could just write the contents of the About page as a text item in your outline.
The first two items in the OPML could be kept in a folder if you like…in fact you can organise any items in the outline into folders…I probably wouldn’t in this case as every item is quite unique.
The third node/item will be a link to the RSS feed of your blog
…you could also do this for each category feed in your blog, you’d probably keep all these in a folder.
The fourth node/item is a link to my Technorati Profile.
The fifth node/item is a link to my Comments RSS feed.
The sixth item node/item is a link to the RSS feed of the My Comments Elsewhere tag in del.icio.us.
The seventh node/item is a link to the RSS feed watchlist in Technorati for incoming links to my blog.
The eighth node/item is a link to the RSS feed of Related Links to my blog in Findory.
The ninth node/item is an OPML inclusion…a link to the OPML of your Reading List that we created earlier
…if you have a spliced feed for your Reading List this could be the tenth item, this way you could read by a river of news.
The tenth node/item is a link to your blog TagCloud.
The eleventh node/item is an OPML inclusion…a link to the OPML for statistics we created earlier
(you will be able to read the latest statistics within the Bitty Browser for the items that are RSS feeds…the items that are HTML links will launch you to the native site)
The twelfth node/item is a link to the feed to my del.icio.us account
So as you can see this list could go on and on…you could include other peoples OPML’s, Technorati BlogFinder OPML’s, PubSub Community Lists, other Reading Lists eg. Bloglines OPML’s, etc…
What makes Bitty different than a lot of other OPML Browsers/Readers is that bitty is also a web browser, so you can view anything you like within this mini-web browser.
Once OPML Renderer includes the reading feed content feature from Optimal, this will be an alternative choice…actually if you check out the right box in this test screen at Optimal, you will see that you can open normal HTML links within the box (iframe) just like Bitty.
Grazr only allows you to view OPML’s or feed URL’s, other than that it isn’t a web browser.
In the end you will have a root OPML, kind of like an OPML menu or directory…in this example our OPML has all the different items possible, these are text, links, feeds, OPML inclusions…and all these can be browsed in your sidebar via Bitty (which also reads feed content as well).
Here it is in Bitty: