Widgetworld: The distributed web

In the Wall Street Journal, Comscore reports on viewership of widgets: 177.8 million in April. Below is the Journal’s list of top widgets. I don’t understand why Brightcove is on the list but YouTube isn’t; they must be limiting the definition of the widget. As far as I’m concerned, it’s YouTube that spread embedding — thus, widgeting — across the web. I’d define a widget as any embedded content or functionality.

widgets.gif

As the Journal notes, widget distribution — and monetization — is now highly dependent on MySpace and Facebook. Again, I’d include embeds on blogs in this. In any case, I think we’ll see a rapid expansion of the use, distribution, and audience for widgets as more sites and content become atomized and as we have more means to include others’ atoms to make our own content molecules — blogs, Facebook profiles, tools like Netvibes, new RSS readers, and publishers who embed others’ content on their pages (see my earlier post, After the page).

Note even this: I went to a ZDNet blog to read about the report and on this page they included the code to embed this formatted text here. Even that’s a widget.

Top widget companies: Slide, RockYou, PictureTrail, PhotoBucket by ZDNet‘s ZDNet Research — Nearly 177.8 mln people world-wide viewed Web content in widgets in April 2007, ComScore reports. Slide is leading the widget economy with 117.1 mln widget-views in April 2007, followed by RockYou with 82 mln., followed by PictureTrail, PhotoBucket, Bunnyhero Labs, BlingyBob, POQbum, Brightcove, Layoutstar and MusicPlaylist.us. 105 mln people visited MySpace in April 2007 and [...]