Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Social Networks Widget for eXtension People Application

In the eXtension People application, you can specify what social networks you participate in, and you can choose to make this information public. By making the information public, the eXtension People application will provide a JSON feed containing your information.

Ying Zhou, a programmer with ISU Extension IT, recently wrote a widget that will read this JSON feed, and display it on your web pages. You can see this widget in action at my ISU Extension staff page or this test blog on Blogger. (I’d put it on my blog, but didn’t see a way to embed the widget in a hosted blog.)

Here is the  basic code to use the widget:

<iframe src=""
         width="200px" height="180px" frameborder="0"></iframe>

The web page that drives this widget takes the following query string parameters in the URL:

  • email: (Required – Text) Email address of the person to look up in eXtension’s system. This email address should match the address given in your eXtension profile.
    (In the example:
  • showContact: (Optional – true|false) When true, show contact information from eXtension’s system. When false, don’t show it. Default is True.
    (In the example: showContact=false)
  • showSocial: (Optional – true|false) When true, show the social network information from eXtension. When false, don’t show it. Default is True.
  • cssFile: (Optional – Text) Includes the given CSS file in the widget. This way, different sites can give the Widget different looks based on the CSS given.

With these options, especially the cssFile, you can modify the look of the output from the widget. You may need to adjust the height and width of the widget to fit your pages.

Feel free to use this widget on your own web sites. Let me know if you need assistance in using it.


Becky’s Blog

Recently, Anne Adrian wrote a blog entry “Importance and Influence of Conversations“. She writes about a dinner with Kevin Gamble, and others, where they talked about blogging. This conversation, either directly or indirectly, had an effect on starting or reviving at least six blogs, including this one.

We can add another blog to that list. Becky Nibe has started a blog at in part due to conversations that she had with people at ACE/NETC. Categories in Becky’s blog include Blue Ribbon, Filemaker, Web Thoughts, and Potluck.

For the next two weeks, Becky will be at the Iowa State Fair. We may see very little activity from her during this time, or we may see a lot. Depends on how the fair goes this year, could be interesting:-)

I think this blog is a good addition to blogs written by Extension staff!

About This Blog

The main purpose for this blog is to document things I learn while doing web development. This will be a successful endeavor when I can point new developers to this site, and tell them these are things I’d like them to be aware of when doing their own development projects.

Most of my work recently has been in the ASP.NET development environment, so that is where many of my topics/example will come from. Don’t let that scare you off. Although I work in .NET, many good development techniques apply to other development environments as well. In addition, I will also write about many topics that have nothing to do with .NET at all. From time to time, you will even find some posts that are not development, or even technology related.

To be really successful with this blog, I need to hear from you, the reader. Comments are encouraged.

I feel like I’m stepping into a great unknown. Can’t wait to see where this journey will take us…. Here goes!

Here I Go!

About a month ago, I was on top of Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with some friends from Alabama. Being a bunch of technologists, the topic of blogging came up. Two of them have fairly active blogs, and the third doesn’t blog yet. When asked why, he said because nobody would want to hear what he had to say, a lot of eyes rolling was the response. Then they asked me the same question, I gave the same answer. Wow, if looks could kill.

I had been thinking about starting this blog for a long time. Thanks to encouragement from these friends, Anne (Anne’s Spot) and Greg (Network Redneck), I decided to write a list of possible subjects for a blog. I thought if I had over 20 items, it might be worthwhile to start a blog. Who’d have thought that list would be 50+ items long. Some of those are big topics (MOSS, ASP.NET, Web Standards, etc.) others are simply a single post, like this one. Others may never see the light of day. With that, this blog came to be.

Jonathan, I’ve started one. We really want to hear what you have to say as well.