The most important benefit of changing to this widget is that it works! The other widgets yielded spotty results with too many fail whales.
The other obvious benefit is that it allows me to embed many more tweets in my sidebar than the others did – through a scrollable interface.
Performance: Occasionally it doesn’t work. The result, a black fail whale rectangle with nothing in it. While annoying, so far the black rectangle appears less often than the fail whales I experienced with the other Twitter widgets. Also, sometimes the black box turns into the proper widget if you give it long enough. Odd.
Flash: On the downside the widget requires Flash. As a result, it does not work with the iPhone. Note: There is an html version of the widget available – though it’s not as nice or useful.
For WordPress blogs:
- go to this twitter widget page (you’ll need to be logged into twitter.com)
- select ‘Other’ (there is no WordPress-specific widget)
- click ‘continue’
- select the type of widget you wish (flash, or html)
- click ‘continue’
- continue picking options and clicking ‘continue’ until you get to the ‘Set up your Twitter widget’ page
- choose your final options
- add a Text widget to the appropriate column in your WordPress dashboard
- copy the resulting HTML into the Text box
- Edit the width parameter (see below)
- Save and you are done
Editing the Width Parameter
When generating the widget on the Twitter site, there are three width choices available to you (narrow, wide & full). I selected the ‘narrow’ option but it was still too wide for the width of The Daleisphere’s middle column. The ‘narrow’ width default is 290 pixels. My middle column is 275 pixels. At 290 pixels, the widget bled over into my third column.
Fortunately you can manually edit the width parameter in the HTML code that you cut and pasted into the WordPress dashboard widget text box. You have to edit the width parameter in two places. Search for the text ‘width=”290” and change it to your desired width, in my case 275. Then search and replace again. The first instance is close to the top of the code, the second instance is lower down in the code. Save your Changes in the WordPress dashboard and you should be good to go.