Foursquare Latest Checkins Widget

Foursquare Latest Checkins Widget Screenshot

Foursquare Latest Checkins Widget

I just released the first public version of my newest WordPress Plugin.

The Widget displays your latest Foursquare checkins in your sidebar. There are quite a few plugins out there that offer similar or even more features, but my motivation was, that I wanted the venue icons to show up as well. After a bit of research I found out, that the only way would be to use Foursquare’s API and not the private RSS feed most of the other developer used for easy integration.

Since I didn’t want to learn yet another API I just used Yahoo’s awesome YQL to get out the data I wanted. There is no caching impemented in the plugin at the moment, so it would be wise (anyway) to have some kind of page caching mechanism installed on your WordPress blog, otherwise it might slow down page loads, because of the sometimes relatively high latency of YQL calls.

Head over to the Foursquare Latest Checkins Plugin page to download.

Feel free to comment with feature requests, questions and criticism. I’ll try to answer it all!

Morning News Update, November 4 2010

  • Google released an Apache module that auto tunes performance
    Google has announced that they are launching a module for the Apache HTTP server called mod_pagespeed, that will automatically tune several properties to optimize page load speed. I haven’t tried it out yet, but will definitely do so.
    Amongst other things, mod_pagespeed will:

    • recompress images
    • modify cache lifetime for static elements
    • make changes to pages built by CMS

    I don’t know if I’ll see a great performance on this server, as I already took care of a lot of speed improvements myself, but this module is a great way to implement common best-practices without having to dig into Apache’s configuration too much.
    Read more and download the module on the Page Speed Google Code website.

  • Facebook Mobile Announcements
    Just a short summary of what Facebook announced yesterday, there’s already tons of coverage out there:

    • Facebook for iPhone updated (as I hoped in my tweet just minutes before the event started).
    • Facebook for Android updated.
    • Single Sign-On for mobile platforms.
      So you don’t have to deal with entering your password in every app that uses Facebook connect.
    • Facebook Places API Update. Full read and write access for third parties.
    • Deals. This sounds kind of like Groupon mixed with Foursquare.
      Could be very interesting, once it reaches the critical mass of user adoption.
    • No dedicated iPad App in the near future.
      Although I’ve read about speculations of a HTML5 based website/app that could offer the same experience on multiple tablet based platforms.