23 May 2011

Little Corner: My Open Source Project To Make You A Better Website


A while back, I ran across two really cool profile/hub/aggregate website providers: Flavors.me and About.me.  I really liked the idea of the personal hub page, and the way that both sites accomplish the design.  So, for my recent website redesign I decided to push my blog over to http://blog.jameschevalier.us and use the base domain name as my own attempt to recreate what I saw Flavors & About doing.

I've decided to call what came out of this idea Little Corner.  The source code of this project is available at GitHub, so you can even implement this for your own website.

I see this form of website as a more functional "business card" type website.  The main page is pretty simple, and static.  There are a few links which look like they'll bring the visitor off to other services, but what they're really doing is bringing the services into the site.  When a link is clicked, the right side of the page displays a translucent overlay on top of the full-screen background with the content of wherever that link would have gone to (Twitter, Foursquare, Last.FM, etc) on top of that.

This has been a great opportunity to jump into a few APIs, as well.  Each of the external services that I'm pulling data from is pulling that data through the service's API.  This makes for a fairly typical experience with a site like Twitter, but allows for some really cool things to happen with the information from sites like Last.FM or Foursquare.

I've just barely started, so there's much more potential in what this open source project could be.  While I was creating the first version of this project, Foursquare released a new version of their API ... I started getting into the Twilio API ... And there's still so much customization to offer within the website itself!

You can see Little Corner in use on my own website right here, and you can either download or contribute to the project right here.

Tags

about.me api business-card design development flavors.me foursquare foursquare-api github last.fm last.fm-api little-corner open-source php project twilio twitter twitter-api

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