Easier bookmark and content adding

Its’ been a while since you’ve last heard from us. That’s mainly because we have been very busy. Behind the scenes we are working on all sorts of cool things. Today we launched a very cool new feature. We call it the ‘Content Adder’. What it does? It makes adding stuff to your start.me pages a lot easier.

Adding bookmarks with the Content Adder

In its most basic form, the new Content Adder is just a sidebar you can use to quickly paste a URL in and have it added as a bookmark. Simply click the green  button on the top right and tell us what you want to add. Some examples of what the Content Adder will understand:

  • http://cnn.com – A full web address, including the http part;
  • cnn.com – Just the domain name, without protocol; saves you some typing!
  • CNN – Just the name of the site; we actually know a lot of sites, so just try us!

Simply press Enter to add the link. You will be asked to which bookmark block you would like to add the link. The Content Adder remembers your last choice, making it easy to add multiple links.

Other things you can add

We tried to make the Content Adder smart. That means that it tries to guess what you might be trying to add. So, if you would enter CNN, it would offer you a number of options:

  • Add a new bookmark to CNN;
  • Add a news feed with the latest news from CNN;
  • Create a new note with the text ‘CNN’;
  • Create a Google Alert to get news about CNN.

The most likely option is always directly available by pressing the Enter key. Try and enter different things and see what suggestions you will get! Some suggestions:

  • Enter the URL of a RSS or Atom feed to quickly add a News widget (e.g. http://rss.cnn.com/rss/edition.rss);
  • Paste the address of a Youtube video to embed it in your page (e.g. https://youtu.be/-DvKYXacI_Y);
  • Embed a Twitter Tweet by pasting the tweet URL (e.g. https://twitter.com/startme/status/819489101791555584)
  • Add a web photo to your page by copying it from your Facebook (by right clicking it and selecting Copy image)
  • Want to add a Google Analytics to your page? Just type ‘Google Analytics’ and be surprised;
  • To add multiple links at once, just copy them from notepad or Excel into the Content Adder and presto!

Convenient shortcuts

For those who prefer to use the keyboard, we have some good news as well. The Content Adder can be operated with the keyboard entirely. To open it, use the new Alt+Insert hotkey and start typing right away. Or even better: if there is something on your clipboard you want to add, simply press Ctrl+V and the Content Adder will open automatically.

Empty widgets

We often see user pages containing empty blocks. Sometimes you just forget to remove it or perhaps it is not clear how to configure a particular widget. To help, we changed the way empty widgets look. You will now always get a hint of what to do next or the option to directly remove the widget.

Smaller changes

Finally, we made some smaller changes to some parts of start.me. Just minor touch-ups to the overall look and feel and some usability improvements.

We really hope you like the new Content Adder and the other improvements we’ve made. To read more about what you can do with the new Content Adder, please check our Support page about it. And of course your feedback is very welcome: [email protected].

 

 

Tip: Embed external content into your start.me page

Did you know that you can use the Embed widget to easily embed content (widgets, images, videos, etc) from external services to your start.me page?

Instructions to add the Embed widget to your page:

  1. On your start.me page, click on the “+” in the grid
  2. Select “Embed webpage” in the list of widgets
  3. Copy the “embed code” (provided by the external site) or URL (to an image/video or HTML web page) into the Embed widget
  4. Done!

To give you some examples of content that you can add to your start.me page:

Example #1: Weather Forecast

Forecast.io provides a great free weather widget that provides you with a 7-day weather forecast for any location in the world.

Embed code:
<iframe id="forecast_embed" type="text/html" frameborder="0" height="245" width="100%" src="https://forecast.io/embed/#lat=42.3583&lon=-71.0603&name=Downtown Boston"> </iframe>

You can change the following parameters in order to retrieve weather data for another location:

  • lat – Latitude
  • lon – Longitude
  • name – Name of the location (you want to display inside the widget)

If you don’t know your Latitude/Longitude, you can use another online service – like mygeoposition.com – to retrieve it for you.  For more information about this Weather widget and additional configuration options, see blog.forecast.io.

Example #2: Youtube

Saw an interesting video on Youtube that you want to post to your start.me page? Simple copy the Youtube URL of the video into the embed widget and you’re done.

Example #3: Website performance chart

Compete.com provides many website performance data tools. They also provide a chart widget that lets you display the performance for a specific website over the last 13 months.

Simply go to compete.com, enter the URL of the site you want to follow and then click the “Embed” button inside the graph to generate the embed code that you can paste into your start.me page.

Some other tips about the Embed widget

  1. You can add multiple embed widgets to the same start.me page, allowing you to create a full fledged dashboard with information pouring in from various sources.
  2. In the Embed Widget settings you can configure the height of the widget and the suppressing of borders.
  3. Make sure to embed content served over https:// as the Embed widget may not work otherwise. Read more about this here.

Questions or suggestions for widgets?

Please drop us an e-mail at [email protected] or leave a comment, if you have any questions about the embed widget. We also love to hear from you what kind of external widgets you use on start.me, so we can look into providing these widgets by default in our widget library.