Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Blog Randomizer for my Online Courses

Well, I have been very neglectful of this blog of late... but I've been busy, I promise (see the stream for details day to day). Anyway, on my walk today I thought of something really nifty to try: a blog randomizer using iframe. I'm not really into iframe as a tag, but that's how Inoreader does the HTML clipping view of RSS streams, so I've come to appreciate how useful it can be.

So, what I did was to grab the list of addresses for my students' blogs (which I have in a spreadsheet), and then I popped them into iframe tags (that was easy), and with that I built a table around those iframes... but I made sure not to open that table in my browser: THAT would have been scary, eeeeek. Instead, I just created the table in a text editor, and then converted the table to a randomizing javascript using and ... it worked!!! If only every half-hour were that productive, ha ha.

The results will not look good here in a skinny blog panel, but you can see the vanilla pages I put up:

And I linked to the random blog pages at the Blog Directory and also at the Myth-Folklore hub and the Indian Epics hub.

I am a big believer in the power of random for navigating lots of content, and I would say that the blogs in my classes count as a LOT of content. I'm not quite sure what I will use this for next semester, but I am sure I will use it for something! :-)

Here's a screenshot that shows how the random blog fills the screen with just a single line across the top to let people refresh and reload.


  1. I've been using a combination of InoReader, Diigo and OneTab (bundling links by topic) shareable, automatically update archive projects -- first for Joe Berry's COCAL Updates (rather a cobbled up mixture of rss and static pages) and just recently for Campus Equity Week (going back to 2001).

    InoReader tag feeds work a treat in Blogger rss widgets too, but I like the idea of randomizing some topics

    1. One of these days I am going to learn how to program and make my own randomizers for real instead of my cobbled-together creations! :-)


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