Posted by: Liz Massey | April 12, 2008

More than Worthy: Create an online dashboard for your creative project

Today I begin another regular blog feature, More Than Worthy. I’ve blogged a bit about my concept of the “worthy project,” a creative task that is so compelling that it provides a huge boost to your creative momentum.

Some of these entries will feature a tool or technique related to worthy projects, and some will feature an inspiring story about an artist’s experience with his or her worthy project.

Today, we look at ways to keep your passion in front of you while you’re online. Michele Martin over at The Bamboo Project blogged recently about creating a job-hunt dashboard as the start page on one’s Web browser. I loved her post, and immediately realized it could be transferred to just about any project where information is available online, especially if it’s a project that requires a lot of research or information that is updated frequently.

The idea is simple: use the wonder of RSS feeds and widgets offered by Google or other providers and create a themed home page that encourages you to see what’s new related to your passion every time you fire up the ol’ Internet browser.

Let’s use an example. Let’s say that I’m going to write a book proposal.

I can go to iGoogle, set up a tab marked “Book Proposal,” then click on the link that says “Add Stuff.” iGoogle will try to suggest gadgets/widgets or feeds based on my tab’s theme. I can also search for Gadgets or RSS feeds using the search function on the right.

Using search function to find RSS feeds through iGoogle.

But I can also add RSS feeds by clicking on the familiar orange-square RSS icon along the left side of the page.

iGoogle allows you to add your RSS feeds to your dashboard.

In the end, I added several feeds from blogs by book editors or literary agents, a dictionary widget, a Google Books search widget, and RSS feeds from the New York Times Review of Books.

My \

If you have a lot of pages that you want on your dashboard, but they don’t have RSS feeds, you can sign up for a del.icio.us account and create a feed from your online bookmarks to your dashboard. This will remind you of your bookmark account, and will encourage you to add more resources as you find them online. (You can designate levels of privacy for your online bookmarks, too).
Readers, how have you organized your creative projects using online tools? Do you see any downsides from utilizing Web 2.0 tools to keep your passion for your project fresh?

UPDATE: (4.13.08) Just found this link on Edublogger about using RSS to streamline one’s life. The author mentions getting feeds from Flickr, and it struck me that this might be a great way to populate one’s dashboard and keep up-to-date on photo/visual related topics. The same could be done with YouTube for video projects.

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Responses

  1. What a great idea, Liz! I’ve been using Netvibes, but the concepts are the same and can be used with any of the personalized portals, including My Yahoo and Pageflakes, too. The other cool thing is that if you were working on a project with other people, you could share your tab with them as part of getting your project started so that everyone can be on the same page–pardon the pun. 🙂

  2. @ Michele
    Great idea! I hadn’t thought of the collaboration angle–would you mind sharing how to share the project page? (Is there a quick way to do or would you just tell them which widgets and feeds you installed?
    –Liz

  3. […] How to stoke your creativity and keep abreast of your passions [Creative Liberty] […]

  4. […] Than Worthy Dashboard Liz @ Creative Liberty has a great idea with More than Worthy: Create an online dashboard for your creative project. Using iGoogle to create a dashboard around your important projects. I have to admit not really […]

  5. Wow. Did you see Google’s announcement this morning about iGoogle and OpenSocial? Nothing like a little prescience – takes your concept to a whole new level!

  6. @ Phil,
    Thanks so much for your link and for the heads-up on the news. Yes, it appears that this development will make the “passion dashboard” idea even more powerful! Neat stuff! 🙂

    –Liz 🙂

  7. […] the importance of RSS to my recent entry on creating an online dashboard for your worthy project, I thought it fitting to mention the celebration and encourage readers to […]

  8. […] Create an online dashboard for your creative project […]

  9. […] I have written  here and elsewhere about the usefulness of RSS feeds and how to use them to build a dashboard of incoming news on topics that are important to […]

  10. […] to cross-pollinate with blogs is to collect their RSS feeds in an aggregator. You can build a “passion dashboard” with your favorite blogs and see patterns both within a blog’s posts over time, or between […]

  11. […] Creating a passion dashboard | Creative Liberty […]

  12. […] More Than Worthy: Create an Online Dashboard for Your Creative Project […]


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