Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ah, Behold Our New Toolbar by Wibiya

Regular visitors to Chicago News Bench may have noticed a new gizmo here: The groovalicious new toolbar at the bottom of our site. Powered by, and in an invitation-only beta stage, the features are splendid. It's one of the best software betas I've ever had the pleasure to test. Starting on the left, you'll see a Search box. You can toggle between searching only on Chicago News Bench or on Google. Next, you'll find Translate, powered by Google. (Note that while this is handy and works well, I already have a translation bar just under the banner at the top with many more languages to choose from.) Moving on, to the right of Translate is a nice Recent Posts slider. Self explanatory, so let's look at the next function, a whimsical random post finder appropriately called "Random." It's a bit like the "I Feel Lucky" search on Google. Click it and a random post on Chicago News Bench appears. To the right of Random is a favorite: Games offers hours of free fun for you. To the right of Games is a long blank area, where Wibiya will be adding new features in the future, probably after they're out of beta. Continuing on, after the blank space, is a nice RSS button, where visitors can subscribe to Chicago News Bench in a number of handy - and free - ways. To the right of the RSS button is Share, where you can share a post on Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, MySpace and more social media. Note that you should allow popups from Chicago News Bench for this to work. Also, to share a specific post URL, rather than our home page URL, you should click the post title first, then click Share. Next we see the Facebook button. That takes you to my Facebook page; click on "Go to Fan Page" in the popup window. To the right of Facebook is the Twitter button, which opens a very cool interface of two panels. The left panel allows you to "Join the conversation about: Chicago News Bench," showing the most recent references on Twitter to "Chicago News Bench." The right panel shows the most recent tweets from ChiNewsBench, which is me on Twitter. Finally, the chevron symbol on the far right allows you to toggle the entire bar on or off. It doesn't really go off, but you can minimize it, then quickly bring it back to full size with another click. All in all, Wibiya's tool bar is a fun addition that I am enjoying immensely. I hope you like it, too. Conservative Caps, Shirt and more! Leave a Comment - Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Visit us on Twitter!