Thing 3 – YourMinis


Share your experience with YourMinis. Are there any widgets you’d like to add to your library’s website?


63 Responses to “Thing 3 – YourMinis”

  1. Regina Spiker Says:

  2. dragonfly27 Says:

    Well, I surprised myself by coming around and actually liking Your Minis. At first, just reading the description on the wiki, I was so confused, and even going to the website didn’t help! But I played around with it for a long time, and I finally got the gist of how it works. I go to the same couple of websites every day, and it would be nice to have all those sites collected into one place. What I’d like to do is have those little wigits appear on my desktop every day when I log into my computer. I don’t want to have to log into the minis website, I want them just to appear on my desktop each morning. Is there any way that can be done?

  3. Virginia Hyde Says:

    WOW!! I really like the Minis. It was fast and very easy to use. This is one thing I know I will use. I put everything I need in one place. Fantastic!!

  4. Carl Emerick Says:

    Interesting site.Excellent choice of interests and options.Fun to work up a page with.

  5. forestlover Says:

    Well, I got off to a rocky start with this one. On the second attempt I calmed down and had a better learning experience. I wanted to see if there was some application of YourMinis that would be useful for me. I used the sports template, added a tab, then added content (iTunes), tried to download a song (took too long and aborted it), changed the color background of the mini, changed the text color, and made the parameters of the mini disappear by moving the Alpha button (an experiment). With a right click on the mouse I found new options to explore, like moving the mini to the back. I added a few more minis, Rottentomatoes and MP3 Player and moved them about. I explored the option buttons and took a look at reviews for Appaloosa, which I intend to see. More experimentation with a right click made me aware that I could connect my camera among other things. The MP3 Player took forever to load. I explored the playlist view and tried to add a track to the playlist (another long wait). I liked the idea that these three entertainment minis could be placed together in one place for easier access and I could see how YourMinis could be useful for connecting other related topics together.

  6. shannonmc Says:

    Minis are an interesting snapshot of the world you are interested in. It is a useful way of seeing various headlines depending on your interest. It would be cool if how you set your minis could be there as you logged on to your computer versus going to the mini site but I did not see where that was an option. It would also be useful if you could go to the website right from the mini more information. I could not seem to get this to work either. The page itself was easy to work with and fun.

  7. ABG Julia's Blog Says:

    The minis were fun to use & nice to be able to have things all in one place. Wondered if more for personal use than library use.

  8. ABG Julia's Blog Says:

    Just another comment. I liked the International section of headlines under the News tab. It would be good to link directly from Your Minis to the actual news article online, but at least with the headlines, you can see if there are items you want to follow up on.

  9. Peggy M. Says:

    I really like the minis and I plan to put a clock and music on my desktop at work. At home I use Vista and have gadgets on my desktop. I really like to change the clock with my moods and it gives me a chance to redecorate my desktop. It is fun!

  10. Amanda W Says:

    I like Widgets and this site had a fair selection of them. I am a Vista user and am familiar with the ones they offer. I have many on my personal desktop already. There are not many that are universal enough to be placed onto my library’s webpage…they seem a bit too personalized for that. I however plan on clogging my desktop up with quite a few more!

  11. westernmdjennifer Says:

    Once you start playing with widgets, it’s hard to stop! I’ve dabbled in them before by adding them to blogs and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. It’s a little overwhelming just how many there are out there! I added a countdown widget for my due date in December, which was kind of neat to me. It was pretty mindless to just have to drag and drop the widget – no need to code anything on this site!
    As for use on a library page, I prefer less “busy” websites, so I’d pick and choose widgets sparingly. I can see how they would be fun to use on a teen MySpace page. The map widget might be useful on the page where a system lists its locations so people can easiliy get directions to and from a library.

  12. processingwoman Says:

    Well, like everyone else I was very impressed with the minis. I was actually able to figure them out all by myself without any help or wishing that I had someone close by to help me through the grueling experence. It was pretty fun. I too would like to have them appear on my desktop when I sign on in the mornings. I have a better appreciation for web designers and a better understanding of some of the things that they go through in designing any web pages or what have you. And of course I know they do alot more than just this little bit that we saw.

  13. milt Says:

    YourMinis was a pretty cool site. It has tons of different widgets for just about anything you can think of!! I use gagdets on my laptop at home, so I am pretty familar with these kinds of things. It was also neat how you can customize the colors and what not on your widgets…well, everything is customizable nowadays!! I’m not sure if we would want to add widgets to the desks at the circulation desk because they are interactive and the computers are slow enough as is 😉

  14. beachylibrarian Says:

    Well, I guess I didn’t truly understand widgets – they are a bit confusing. I thought it was a fun toy, but don’t really see myself logging into yourminis to find out what time it is, or headlines, weather, etc. There are countless other ways to do these things – it seems with computers, there are always multiple paths to the same result. I can’t think of any widgets I would add to the library web site at this point – maybe too much clutter?

  15. Jessnhem Says:

    Alright, I think I missed something. I did not get the widgets. I found some neat ones, but I couldn’t figure out how to get them to my desktop or a website. But, I have used Meebo before and liked that. Maybe it is just YourMinis that I don’t get. I have sites that I visit everyday, actually every few hours, and it might be nice to just be able to click on them to access…but, I already do this since they are on my tool bars.

    Maybe Amanda W will be kind enough to show me some tricks!

  16. sunflower Says:

    Widgits are really fun to use! I would use them more for personal use. I found some widgits more interesting and useful than others. All in all,
    I enjoyed finding out more about them.

  17. ReluctantBlogger Says:

    It looks like the choices for minis have been considerably expanded since we did our 23 things. I remember exploring this website back then — I think under the best new websites? This time I did everything I was supposed to, and it was easy. It was refreshing that you didn’t have to create an account in order to use the site. I created the page like I was supposed to and added some things that I use often, but I was disappointed that I didn’t find some basic things. It has GMail, but not basic Google (I guess, you can install Google’s toolbar, but still…) or Google Maps (while it had Yahoo Maps). I guess the best way to always have it at your fingertips would be to have it as a homepage? (Off topic –while experimenting with it, I discovered that if you have multiple tabs open in the browser when you are setting options for your homepage, that’s how it will open – with multiple tabs…). I wouldn’t want it as my homepage, though, because I don’t like that the widget windows are so small, and when you put a bunch of them together, it creates a visual overload for me (so I’ll stick with shortcuts). Another drawback for me was that the widget windows have 2 size settings and you can’t change their size and shape beyond that. I didn’t have much success with changing the background for my tab — I wanted to use one of the background images provided, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it quickly, and didn’t want to spend any more time on it). Since I am not going to use it for business, I decided to have fun with it and explored mostly the “fun” category of the gallery and even went as far as adding a couple completely useless widgets to my blog. (I don’t use my blog for anything except our training, so I don’t update it very often, but I loaded it with widgets — ) Adding them to your blog is easy within the limits set by Blogger, I guess (in other words, I wanted to add a widget to a post, not to the blog, and couldn’t), but that is more about Blogger than YourMinis.

  18. Richard Says:

    I enjoyed playing around with yourminis. Being able to customize it for my desktop at home will be a welcome relief from the clutter of dozens of icons presently there. The large digital clock is LARGE ENOUGH TO READ. I also liked the minimal view and square frame options available when adding my favorites. I still use old Yahoo and if I understand yourminis correctly, it will only accept Yahoo Plus, which I don’t care for as much.
    Interesting 🙂

  19. InsaneLibraryLady Says:

    Love those minis !! I will use more of them for personl use but I intend to use some also on my desktop at work. They were really easy to use once I got the hang of it and I also liked the size of the Digital Clock and having the weather at a glance. This is another site that I will recommend to patrons that are interested in adding new items to their sites/desktops at home. 🙂

  20. Sherry Dickens Says:

    The minis web site has changed; it grabs your attention right away. I was real happy when I saw the large clock and it was fun exploring and just playing with this site. For my lifestyle though I don’t think I would use it much but it would be great for those who network, blog and to organize personal fav sites. It would definitely be a boon to individuals whose businesses center on the internet.

  21. LisaM Says:

    YourMinis is a nice website to get to know widgets. I found one on NASCAR that has highlights of the races that I might use (although it would be too painful to watch this week after the Talladega race–poor Junior 😦 ) I like the addition of widgets to my pages so that I can go to one site and see the weather forecast, what’s on at the movies, and search youtube. Instead of having to go out and seek out five different stops, I can do it all from one screen. Convenient!

    At Allegany County Library System, we have an ACLS catalog widget that you can include in your widgets cache. Just go to and you will find the widget to add to your selections on the right hand corner of the browser. Then you can search the catalog from any site.

  22. Gentlewinds Says:

    When we were doing 23 Things, I activated and currently use, Netvibes, which is very similar to YourMinis. During this exercise, I found myself comparing the two. The widget categories on yourminis is more detailed and easier to use. I also like the sidebar from which to add widgets as opposed to the top bar of Netvibes. Both sites allow you to add the tabs at the top. This is very convenient for separating personal and library websites.

    Netvibes is my homepage on my personal computer, and I am very happy with it. However, yourminis is a comparable and valuable alternative.

  23. Jeanne Trice Says:

    The minis were fun to play with and I created some really neat ones, but I wasn’t able to get them to my desktop. I got so wrapped up in all the cool stuff that I ran out of time to work on the tech side of getting them where I wanted them!

  24. Janet Says:

    I have been touring this minis site for several days and found it quite interesting along with wonderful snapshots. I’m not sure at this time how I could use this site to murge it with my job, but when more time permits I will make another tour.

  25. bookbliss Says:

    I’ve had fun exploring YourMinis. I love these handy widgets, even if I don’t quite have the hang of adding them just yet. (I’m getting there…) 🙂 I think the following widgets could be interesting and useful additions to our library’s web site: Amazon, Yahoo Maps, RSS, Youtube, Clock, and Quote of the Day. However, clutter is an issue that must be considered. Cluttered websites are frustrating and difficult to navigate. The widgets would not be a welcome addition if they just wound up annoying people. Perhaps the library could do a test run of adding some widgets, then ask for feedback from patrons and librarians.

  26. Jackie Cassidy Says:

    Widgets do have a place in the library. is particularly fitting. This file sharing widget is great for committee work and you can put it right on the committee’s blog. Other library friendly widgets may be various book widgets, RSS feed widgets, podcast widgets. The book widgets would fit right in with book clubs and your library’s Reader’s Advisory webpage. Feed widgets are more suitable for library staff.
    I was reading a “Product Pipeline” article from Library Journal featuring a device called Chumby. This small touchscreen computer with built in speakers, USB ports and WiFi is perfect for widgets. The authors suggestions for library use include getting one for the circulation desk to display information to patrons as they wait for service. Great idea!

  27. AMartin Says:

  28. sunshine Says:

    I was happy to become a Yourminian and scoping out the widgets and adding tabs. I will probably not use it that often. But am always interested in finding out the latest and compare each of them. I was actually having trouble choosing because I liked so many.

  29. Rusty Says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to find I liked Widgets after reading the definitions! It was fun and easy to explore YourMinis and I liked the final visual result since I made it very colorful. I think the library could use a page that would cover a small piece of several topics, including fun and useful ones. For example, in different tabs, background and font colors, there could be daily widgets for a a Tip of the Day, Quote of the Day, Comic Strip of the Day, CNN Top Stories, Forbes, Fox Sports, MTV news, and Top YouTube Videos. I think having the calendar and calculator available on the desktop would help our patrons with simple everyday tasks, especially our frequent math tutors. I also like that I didn’t have to create another account to experiment with all this. There seems to be something for everyone in the endless supply of widgets!

  30. rosesmom Says:

    I think I’ll be in trouble with minis…there is no way I can put these on my desktop at work. HA. There would be no work done for all the playing. I’m amazed at all I found. I’m a CNN and Foxnews junkie. I’m a TMZ junkie. So easy to use!

  31. Ponyahhn Says:

    I was disappointed with the news gadgets that you only get a one sentence description of the article. I still use bloglines from Learning 2.0, and I like that fact that I can read all of the headlines and then click and read any stories that interest me. The gadget seems inferior to me because you can’t do that. I checked out some of the sports gadgets, and hovering over the headline I was told that I would have to go to to find out more than the six words in the gadget headline. Not convenient, in my opinion. The weather gadget might be useful, and the countdown if I was counting down to anything. I agree with the others who said that the map gadget might be useful on our library’s website. The weather gadget might also be interesting, but otherwise they seem very personalized to me.

  32. John Says:

    Minis and widgets are pretty neat. With my ADD mind, I can see the risk of having new content pop up every 5 seconds and my eye wandering over to it. and there goes the day. I can also a use for a site where it pops up for announcements mid-day. I have tried filling pages of widgets on igoogle, pageflakes, and netvibes and they all are pretty good. I like the notion of crossing things off a list or closing the window after reading all my the rss feeds, so I don’t use the widget to follow blogs.

  33. John Says:

    I did insert the local time into my blog. thanks.

  34. Cecelia Robeson Says:

    I enjoyed exploring Your Minis. I created a Tab and loaded it with minis: Google search, Amazon search, Gmail, a clock, a calendar, the weather channel, a calculator. I played around with creating a “todo list” and adding a countdown to the holidays. I tried to customize the stock offerings but couldn’t figure it out. I did add Eventful and came up with a very detailed listing of events in the Cumberland area. There were some interesting widgets to explore here. And it’s great having some of these at your fingertips, esp. Google & Amazon search bars, my gmail, and the news feeds. That said, I’m not certain about adding these to the library web page…and would prefer them for home use, or as additions to my work computer.

  35. Michelle Sebly Says:

    I had fun playing with the Minis.

    Fooled around with the countdown one for Halloween’s purpose.

    Was inspired to update my Blogger page, and edit my widgets there as well. (They are called “gadgets” on Blogger as well).

    I am like John, very ADD, and wandered off task for a while cleaning up my Blogger page, but enjoyed myself re-acquainting myself with the world of widgets, and will probably run over to my myspace page sometime tonight and double check on my library thing widgets that I put on there. I do love widgets for library thing!

    The Your Minis project did help me become more familiar with customizing a widget for yourself …. I have been trying to create my own Library Thing widget for my myspace, and now am not as intimidated by that.

    Library’s website… I don’t know, I am so impressed with the job our team here in Caroline is already doing with our website; I honestly can’t think of any widgets that would improve it any more than it already rocks!

    I would use this more for my personal enjoyment. I do like the countdowns!

  36. Mally Says:

    I think the Minis is a good idea. I like the idea of having the weather, music and a clock available. It is also good for keeping track of sports scores.
    I want to set up the music when I get a chance. I already have some of the sites on my toolbar, so I don’t think I will have a lot of them.

  37. Jo Says:

    Check my blog post for comments:
    But, not so long story short, I’m not really into YourMinis, but I could see some potential for the library site…

  38. KristinB Says:

    I’m a little bit behind, so had to search for the YourMinis startpage link because they are getting rid of that feature on October 27th. That’s a shame because I really did like playing around with this web 2.0 tool. After finding my way around, I ended up putting exciting things like BBC news feed, the local weather (yes, I adjusted away from sunny CA), a calculator,, and yes, even Youtube on my YourMinis startpage. I don’t think it would be a good idea to put a lot of widgets of this type on our library’s website, but there are a couple that I know my co-workers and I would probably find very useful, as they are sites that we go often to help patron answer questions (and for our own questions). Widgets like the one (as patrons are always asking us when new books are coming out) the one (more for us, because we like to see what good weather we’re missing, or if there’s a chance of a snow day – hah!), and even a news feed.

    So, all in all, I was very pleased with my jaunt exploring YourMinis. Though it seems that the site will soon change, so maybe it won’t be as useful to us in the near future.

  39. Jennifer Ranck Says:

    Read this blog post about yourminis startpage feature: Apparently the details for the widgets will still exist but users will have to export the content from to another location – blog, myspace page, website. Here is an example of widget I copied to my blog,

  40. D. Sebly Says:

    Well, I could not access the Open Startpage – too late for that; but I went to Google Gadgets and played around with that. I now have access to weather and all sorts of stuff right on my desktop, so that is pretty cool. I can minimize the sidebar so that it is not constantly in my way and look at it whenever I want. So, while I could not do too much with YourMinis, I did get something useful out of this.

  41. HeatherTowers Says:

    Mini’s or widgets were really great. I like them and have them on other websites I use (google desktop and livejournal).

  42. LibraryLady Says:

    Did some other exploring of gadgets. This particular site seemed limited in the gallery, yahoo had a great list of gadgets, too. I guess the best use is just knowing how to customize them. I just purchased a laptop and of course it has Vista….so I am familiar with the gadget movement. I don’t like clutter, so I can’t imagine having more than one or two at a time. Don’t know yet how best to utilize at the library. They seem to be best suited to individual needs/tastes…

  43. Michelle_N Says:

    I really liked playing around with the widgets. I agree with most that it’s not something I would use to clutter up my desktop at work but it would be fun to add widgets to my personal computer. The widgets at yourminis were very simple to copy.

  44. Mysterylover Says:

    It took me a while to figure out how to use the widgets, but I was finally able to put one on my blog, and that made me feel pretty good. I have a better understanding of how they can be used, and I think they could be a lot of fun to play with, if one had the time. I do feel that they could contribute to “too much information” at a time if used too freely. However, I can see some fun ways to use them on the library’s website. For instance, we could use a widget and have the weather on the site. Also, it might be fun to use a count down calendar to advertise upcoming events such as the Gala or the Summer/Winter reading program.

  45. christykoch Says:

    I love widgets. As a Vista user, I’ve been playing with them for a while now. I can see the possibility for their use on a library webpage with one caveat. Webpages should be pretty simple. That being said, a strategic and relevant use of widgets on a webpage would be really useful and fun.

  46. Etta Place Says:

    I had an opportunity to play with some of the widgets on YourMinis when we still had access to start pages a couple of weeks ago. It was the end of the day Friday and I didn’t have time to post then. Now I wish I would have posted immediately after! I looked at the various widgets and played with some clocks. It was fun to arrange items and play with the colors. I feel like these “things” are more my own when we can customize them to our liking.

    I have some widgets on MySpace page. I have a couple of sayings of the day (like Jennifer’s) and an application they call bumper stickers. It’s a bulletin board and you pick small graphics to pin and arrange on your board or send to a friend. I’ve also played with some of the count down clocks, that count down to the time left until a special event.

    Widgets seem like another useful and fun tool to use in our hi-tech world. Not sure which one would fit our web page at the library. We are pretty conservative with that stuff!

  47. jodielynn Says:

    I’ve always secretly thought that widgets were pointless except for the weather widgets. This exercise hasn’t changed my mind but I may put a weather widget on my home computer. It was interesting looking at all the widgets available on yourminis but this is still a technology that doesn’t impress me. Maybe it’s because I don’t mind going to different websites to get the information that widgets provide.

  48. Frogonablog Says:

    Unfortunately I have encountered one of the problems characteristic of many similar things like Minis. They come and go so FAST !! As a result I missed the Minis page completely and all explanations of what a mini is(or was ) are quite befuddling. There was no direction as to how to experience other of these elusive creatures. Am open to ideas- …

  49. CSmith Says:

    Widgets are fun. They are so cute. I could not add them to my desktop. I couldn’t figure it out so I used Google’s gadgets and added them to my igoogle home page. Widgets may be a fun way to put on a library website–esp. teens and/or kids site. I agree that the main library website should be clutter free, but people under the age of 18 can decipher pages much more easily. I think we already have some on there…maybe a book based widget would be neat to put on–(most popular books) eg…

  50. DBennett Says:

    I played around with them and added one to my blog. It will take more work with them to really see what would be useful as opposed to just fun.

  51. Ann Drake Says:

    11/11/08 Unfortunately, I got into the site too late to be able to use the widgets. but do have some of them on my home computer. I was able to explore what was available on the site. I like using widgets but think they would be more valuable on a work or personal computer. I’m sure if you got creative and practical at the same time, they could be used on library websites. Widgets are great for shortcuts to information, music, etc.

  52. Spero Says:

    It would be cool to have a “Countdown to New Release” widget for our library. Something that notes the items format e.g., video, playaway, cd etc and countdown to new release. Something patrons can save as a desktop widget to stay informed rather than checking the main website or crowd/haggle for at the door.

  53. Spero Says:

    It would be cool to have a “Countdown to New Release” widget for our library. Something that notes the item’s format e.g., video, playaway, cd etc and its countdown to new release. Something patrons can save as a desktop widget to stay informed rather than checking the main website and haggling for at the door on Tuesday mornings.

  54. Rainey Says:

    Some say Widgets, some say gadgets, some say sidebarss. Whatever you call them, they can be fun. I already have some from google. I did like the ‘send to a friend’. ‘typepad’ and the ‘copy embedded code’ features. I will use some of them on my home computer and website. Curious thing: “Red Bull’ seems to be a weird partner, don’t you think?

  55. madstrawberrygrrlll Says:

    The first time I ran into the word “widget”, it was hard to find a simple explanation as to what they were, and what they could do for your website. I think I got a better understanding through trial and error – I just tried adding a widget to my site and once I saw how it worked, it all made much more sense. I went to the yourminis site and copied the weather channel widget into my blog – it was very fast and easy. I would definitely never take the time to design one on my own, though. I suppose it would be nice to add on the library site but I think it’s a case of too much distracting information on an already full web page.

  56. sandyr Says:

    I like the minis! I agree with those who wouldn’t want to clutter up a web page too much by using them, but if they can be selectively used, they might be fun, particularly on teen and kids’ web pages.

  57. crabbylibrarian Says:

    Who would have thought that there could so many little things to stick on a web page! My brain started to crash after a few minutes, especially since so many of them seemed to do similar things. I liked the count down ones and I could see using that on a library website for some major program or event, like the opening of a new branch. I also was interested in the translation widget. It looks like the translation is a little rough, but if it could get some basic information to people who don’t speak English, it might be a really useful tool. I would like to explore that one more. As for personal use, I am trying to keep things simple and I think I would find a lot of widgets distracting. I did like Jennifer’s quote widget, though.

  58. Janice Says:

    So many widgets, so little space. I’ve been watching my son download widgets available for his new MacBook and he’s thrilled with them. When I looked at this site it made me think that I could make my computer desktop just as cluttered as my real one. Applications like calculators and calendars are already on my computer and since I know where they hide, I don’t feel like I need them left out all the time. I did add someone else’s widget to my blog during the 23 things exercise. Since a lot of the widgets I’ve seen seem sort of trivial or have content that is not that hard to find elsewhere, I guess I just don’t have a vision of what use this would be. I’m sure more flexible minds than mine will have lots of good ideas. The site looks like a good place to start for someone with an idea. They’ll find the information and advice needed to build and launch a widget.

  59. Accidental Librarian Says:

    I really like the whole idea of gadgets and, with some more time to explore, would probably add at least a music gadget to my blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time and I don’t have my earphones at work. I think I might add a local weather widget to our library’s home page. I think people that visit our home page often would consider it a bonus.

  60. Jeri Says:

    YourMinis are fun. I can see how certain widgets would be appropriate and helpful on websites. I put one on my Facebook apps. Although I have not been successful on my blog. I’m sure I will have occasion to use YourMinis at some point – now that I know about it.

  61. Pam Says:

    I love the idea of widgets. I have some on my desktop at home. I think the library could probably incoporate several good ones to use and save time searching from page to page. It would be very convenient.

  62. Maryland Says:

    I have used some widgets in the past and I like the idea of some on my desktop. I have a calendar and weather widgets that I use regularly. Otherwise, I agree with Janice. I know where these things live and can find them. I’ve bookmarked news sites so I can go there when I want. I’ve used RSS feeds and I get CNN breaking news emails. Maybe it’s time to disconnect a little and not need to know everything that’s going on the nanosecond that it happens?

  63. lindalu Says:

    I enjoyed playing with the widgets, and I think I’ll keep the calendar and maybe the calculator right there on my desktop at work and at home. Like others who commented, I thought the MyMinis widgets were fun, both for what they are and for the opportunities for changing colors and such. For public library webpage use, some useful ones like calendar or weather widgets right there on the desktop might be appreciated.

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