scraps: the twit on top

I added a scrolly-Twitter-thing because I thought it was neat-o. I’ve always liked unobtrusive scrolly bits (tickers); it’s probably got something to do with watching too many news channels and daytime infomercial television, so here we are. At least there’s some activity on the screen now. Kinda.

But wait there’s-


If it wasn’t abundantly obvious, the ticker is a feed of my own Twitter account. I like the idea of microblogging but didn’t use Twitter much because I felt it was too removed from being “mine.” With this, I have tricked myself with a sort of ownership theater (see: security theater) and I might say more crap on Twitter now. I have long had ideas for something like an MOTD (more like MOTW) for the site, but the work involved in building a system for that is not something I want to learn right now, so instead you get an approximation via Twitter.

Curious how I did it? Bloody simple really. Mostly. I used a lovely WordPress plugin called Rotating Tweets, built by some bloke by the name of Martin Tod. So thanks to that guy for the lovely plugin. Do him a favour and look at his website, or something. I can’t say I know what it’s about. Some other country’s governance, I suppose. Remarkable to me is a politician who developed and actively maintains a WordPress plugin.

I used Rotating Tweets in conjunction with another useful plugin (which I started using quite some time back), Header and Footer by Stefano Lissa. He has a site, too, so for consistency’s sake, check that out. It appears this guy develops quite a few WordPress plugins and also uses the blog as a platform to ask for and make donations to children’s charities, so that’s cool.

So I used Header and Footer to insert the Rotating Tweets’ shortcode (that’s WP speak for a bit of encapsulated text that gets caught and converted to something else, like a Twitter feed, before the page displays) right where I wanted it up there. The work was then a case of testing out the various shortcode options (and like some idiot cowboy, I tested them on the live, home page – obviously), and then buggering around with the CSS of the Rotating Tweets plugin so I got it coloured just how I wanted. Although I’m not sold on how it is now – it’s too similar to the rest of the content and I’d like to differentiate it a little more (so expect more live testing at some stage). Thankfully, Rotating Tweets is competently developed and helpfully includes a method for specifying custom CSS that overrides the default CSS in a way that is not nuked after updates (so a child theme kinda deal).

And that’s that for this scrap. Have you watched this yet? I am slightly obsessed. Watch it again.