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Widgets Galore

12 May, 10 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Welcome to the first post of the new BMJ Journals Web Development blog. This is the place to stay up-to-date with the goings-on of the journal websites and get to grips with our latest innovations.

The last few weeks have seen the implementation of two new widgets across our specialist journals. You may be wondering what on earth a widget is. Fear not, it’s likely that you’ve already seen widgets, and recognise them, even if you don’t know them by name. Ever seen a quiz or a game on a friend’s Facebook wall? A countdown to an event on a co-workers blog? These are all products of widget technology; simple and useful applications that can be embedded on a webpage, blog or social media profile.

Widgets are used at the bottom of our homepages to display the latest articles from each journal’s Online First, Current Issue and Most Frequently Read RSS feeds. If a journal has its own blog or podcasts, widgets are used to pull updates directly onto that journal’s homepage. They help to keep our sites looking fresh and up-to-date with minimal editorial input.

Most of the specialist websites now contain a doc2doc widget at the bottom of their homepage, which contains the latest discussions from the doc2doc online community and a BMJ Case Reports widget, which displays the latest Case Reports published in the BMJ Case Reports journal. Please feel free to share your thoughts on our use of widgets by leaving comments below.

Next week: Twitter accounts for every journal…


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  • Carolyn Simpkins

    How specific are the links to doc2doc and Case Reports? Is it merely the latest, regardless of topic, or is there some sorting going on which gives you links to topics related to whatever you’re looking at?

  • Claire Bower, Web Administrator

    Hi Carolyn,

    Thanks for your comment. At present the doc2doc and Case Reports widgets work on a latest RSS feed rather than relating specifically to the content which is being viewed. We are, however, in discussions with HW as to how to make these feeds more targetted to users’ requirements and we’ll let you know of any developments.

  • been keeping my eye on your blog for a few days now and i really am enjoying reading them.

  • Melanie McCarthy-Troke

    Is all the content under the tabs viewable for SEO or just the first ‘Current Issue’ tab?

  • Melanie McCarthy-Troke

    Also – do you have any click-through stats to indicate whether the ordering of the tabs makes a difference – for example if doc2doc is the last tab does it receive less traffic?

  • Claire Bower, Web Administrator

    Hi Melanie,

    The main goal for our widgets, so far, is their viral effect in increasing traffic (which we are in the process of monitoring). Unfortunately, none of the tabbed widgets at the bottom of our homepages contribute to SEO (as the actual content is hosted elsewhere) but this is something we are hoping to address in the near future. As regards click-through stats, we do not currently have any conclusive evidence (as the widgets are relatively new) but this is definitely something for us to pursue with Marketing.

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