SideBlog – Home Grown Twitter For WordPress

As you know, I’m a fan of the blog, authored by Steven Hodson and on his blog, I’ve noticed an area of his sidebar called Misc. Thoughts. For whatever reason, I always find myself going down the sidebar, reading these mini posts which looks familiar to the type of content you would find on Twitter. Instead of actually being on Twitter, Steven can posts these short snippets or thoughts and keep them local to his own blog. I asked Steve some time ago which plugin he was using to generate this part of his blog and he told me it was something called SideBlog.

Steves SideBlog

SideBlog which is now up to version 4.4 was written by Katesgasis and is compatible with WordPress 2.3. SideBlog is one way of implementing “Asides” or “a series of short posts 1-2 sentences in length”. Sideblog4.4 is widget enabled which means it will be easy to place on your site if you use a widget enabled theme. Also worthy of noting is that, multiple categories can be published in the sidebar.

After you install and activate the plugin, you’ll need to create a new category which will be the category for this plugin. In my case, I created a new category called Random Thoughts. Once you create your new category, go into your OPTIONS area and click on SideBlog. A list of all the available categories will be presented. Check mark the box for the category you want to be displayed in the sideblog. In my case, I selected my newly created Random Thoughts category. Also on this same line, you can choose how many entries will show up in this sideblog as well as whether or not the content should be excluded from RSS Feeds. I chose 5 entries and disabled the content from being included with my feeds.


After you assign a category to the plugin, you’ll be able to see it in the Widgets area within the Presentation options. Drag the widget to a sidebar of your choice and apply the changes. Now, anytime you want a post to show up in this sideblog, make you select the appropriate category when you’re writing a 1-2 sentence post.

This plugin is great if you need to post some thoughts off the top of your head but don’t want to dedicated an entire blog post towards it. This is also a good substitute for Twitter if you’re not into that sort of thing. I will say though, the benefit of Twitter is that when you post your thoughts, you’re publishing them to a very wide audience. Using Sideblog, your limiting your thoughts from being seen by only those who are visiting your blog. But if you’re fine with that, SideBlog makes an excellent thought dumper.

WordPress Real Time Browsing Stats LogoEver wanted to see who is browsing your site in detail and in real time? Now you can, using WordPress Live, a live blog statistics plugin.

WordPress Live gives WordPress site owners the ability to track IP addresses currently browsing the site while also being able to view which posts/pages that IP address is browsing. The plugin divides stats into three categories: Page hits, Feed hits, and Comments. There is actually a speed bar which allows you to control the speed in which the plugin refreshes. Move the slider to the left, the refresh is quicker, move the slider to the right, the refresh rate is slower.

This plugin is really cool and from what I could tell, is only accessible through the backend of your WordPress install. If you’d like a plugin which displays a similar set of data on the frontend, check out the WP-UserOnline 2.11 plugin written by Lester Chan.

The only downfall WordPress Live has is the lack of documentation. The plugin lacked a read me file and there are no concrete installation instructions published on the authors site. If your familiar with how to install WordPress plugins, you shouldn’t have a problem with this one.

WordPress Live In Action

Be sure to check out to download the WordPress Live Plugin. So far, I’m digging it.