Where There’s a Widget There’s a Way

I didn’t really look before I leapt into the world of blogging.  It just kind of happened.  One minute I’m searching tutorials to help with a group’s website renovation, the next minute I’m clicking a button to publish my first blog post.  Thanks to natural curiosity, the help of my friend Jamie (who is a blogging goddess, by the way), and a step-by-step WordPress guide, I knew the basic lay of the land . . . just enough to get started.

The other day I hit my first stumbling block.  It was a minor thing, really.  I simply wanted to copy a widget promoting the countdown to the release of AUSTENTATIOUS by Alyssa Goodnight.   See, those who post the widget into the side bar of their blog will be entered to win an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of AUSTENTATIOUS.  I love books.  AUSTENTATIOUS sounds like it will be a great read.  I now have a blog.  It was a no-brainer . . . . or so I thought.

Apparently it does take brains, or at least a little know-how, to embed a widget into the sidebar of a WordPress blog.  My first failed attempt yielded a link which led to clues as to why I did not get the desired result.  Instead of spending much time troubleshooting, I opted to send a message to Ms. Goodnight (Alyssa, if I may).  She replied with a helpful tip.  I followed the advice (good advice) and got Fail #2.  This thing which seemed should be so minor was starting to gnaw at me.

Then, yesterday, Alyssa reached out to another blogger and me to see if we had any luck posting the widget.  I thought two things:  1) How nice of her to inquire and 2) At least I’m not the only one having difficulty.  After a little back and forth, Alyssa provided one more tip and an offer to create a static ad to use in lieu of the wicked widget.  It was great to have a backup plan but I was not ready to give up.

Thus Simply Blake became Tenacious B.  I searched WordPress Help, I Googled, I tried my hand at gigya shortcode (Shout out to Bex at Aurelmedia.  Clearly, I couldn’t figure it out either.)  I sought advice from my blogging sensei Jamie who, as luck would have it, could (and did) post that widget just fine on her blog.  The difference must be that she has her ownURL whereas mine is a WordPress URL.

Alas the answer eluded me.  I raised my hands and confessed to Alyssa that I had nearly worked myself into a tirade of Yosemite Sam proportions.  Then, bless her heart, she entered me into the contest anyway.  My sincere thanks, Alyssa.  I hope I didn’t scare you into it! 😉

So, to truly earn the contest entry and to stick it to that wascally widget, I present this ranty post as my ad for the AUSTENTATIOUS COUNTDOWN.

Leave a comment


  1. Glad you won the widget battle, and I hope you enjoy the blog.

  2. Sorry it was so much work to get that widget! I’m flabbergasted and flattered at the response from you and Bex! I’ll give you both two entries! 🙂

  1. ARC Review: AUSTENTATIOUS by Alyssa Goodnight « simplyblake

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