I’m off to Miami this weekend to attend a wedding and maybe sneak in some additional cultural or culinary fun. While I’m in the sunshine state sipping mojitos poolside, some people here in Massachusetts (and elsewhere) will be immersing themselves in the ice cold waters of the Atlantic ocean and local lakes and rivers.


Because some sadistic genius at the Special Olympics came up with the idea for raising money by holding Passion Plunges in wintry locales around the country. This is truly a brilliant idea. You have to be in some kind of shape to run a marathon, and even a shorter run or longer walk requires some kind of training commitment. Just about anybody can dunk themselves in cold water. Not that it doesn’t take guts and some dedication, but it doesn’t require training or even much of a time commitment. Plus, it’s too cold and icky in winter to do any conventional run or ride fundraisers.

I’m including a fundraising widget (at right) for a team of plungers fielded by Firstgiving.com where I’m doing a consulting project. In addition to taking a gander a Firstgiving’s cool technology, you should click through and consider making a donation to support the Special Olympics and cheer on the plungers. Or search the Firstgiving site for other events you can support, or learn how to set up your own personal fundraising page.

Before I call it a post, I have to spend some time geeking out, since the implementation of this widget in WordPress was not as smooth as I would have liked, and maybe others can learn from my experience.

What you’re supposed to do is grab the code from your Firstgiving fundraising page and paste it into your blog post. But WordPress’ “visual editor” mangles FG’s code (and YouTube’s and no doubt others’) and it doesn’t work. Unless you disable the visual editor by going to Users, selecting the user in question, choosing Edit, and UNticking the box marked “Use the visual editor when writing.” If you do this, things work just fine as long as you don’t mind composing your blog entry in raw HTML.

I hope that this makes it easier for people to use the Firstgiving widget and other kinds of scripts in WP blogs, and also that somebody notices this and either fixes it or tells me that I’ve been doing something wrong. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time I missed the obvious solution. Maybe a nice cold dip will clear my head…