Penn State news widget launched; more widgets on the way

August 09, 2005

University Park, Pa. -- More than a quarter of a million subscribers receive news about Penn State in their e-mail boxes through the Penn State Newswire, the companion Penn State Live Web site receives nearly 10,000 hits a day from people seeking information about the University, and RSS feeds deliver much of the same information directly to news Web sites and individual subscribers.

Now, the Department of Public Information has launched the Penn State news widget.

Anyone who uses an Apple computer loaded with the OSX 10.4 (Tiger) operating system can get Penn State news delivered right to the desktop with the new Penn State Live widget.

"When Apple integrated Dashboard widgets into its new operating system three months ago there were only two dozen widgets to choose from," said Bill Mahon, assistant vice president for University Relations. "Apple now features more than 1,000 widgets on its Web site. Later this year widgets likely will become as ubiquitous as podcasting is right now. We have additional widgets in development here in University Relations," Mahon said.

"This first widget allows users to pull onto their desktop the news headlines and stories from the dozens of Penn State Newswires that now exist," he said. You can set up a Penn State Altoona widget, Penn State science widget, Penn State alumni news widget or a Penn State diversity widget," Mahon said. "We also hope to see other Penn State offices develop widgets and we will feature them on our Penn State Live news Web site (found at http://live.psu.edu online)."

"Widgets are a bite-size piece of the Web, but have the potential to serve up very useful information to people about specific topics. The second widget we hope to soon announce will offer Penn State directory information."

Widgets, which are mini-applications that perform common tasks and provide fast access to information, run through the operating system's Dashboard feature. The Penn State Live widget gives users the most recent Penn State headlines automatically. The headlines then link directly to the full stories on the Penn State Live Web site.

"Widgets are very new, and like the many others that are out there, the Penn State Live widget still is a work in progress," said Doug Stanfield, manager of Internet communications for Penn State University Relations. "We're continuing to develop it, and the next version will be even more robust. We also are working on a version that will be usable on Windows machines using the Konfabulator widget application."

To see the collection of Dashboard widgets currently available, go to http://widgets.psu.edu online. To add the Penn State Live widget to a Mac OSX computer running the Tiger operating system, click on the "PSU Live" link and then on the download link. This is a compressed archive that must be decompressed. See "NOTE" for installation instructions.

To learn more about widgets, go to http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/dashboard/ or http://www.konfabulator.com online.

  • The Penn State Live widget is customizable to pull in news from any of the nearly three dozen Penn State Newswires. To download it, click on the image above.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015