Posts about widgets

From the labs upstairs

Here’s son Jake’s latest Facebook app: Scratchpad.


Amyloo’s hilarious widget nightmare:


My friend Dave Morgan says the widget advertising is next. Snips:

Simply put, widgets are the most recent embodiment of highly distributable Web media. Widgets permit users to separate the content from the Web page, permitting users to implant them on all types of pages, from personalized portal home pages to blogs to personal pages on social sites like MySpace or Facebook. I believe that over the next three years, widgets will change online advertising as we know it today. . . .

Are widgets the next search? I don’t think so. However, I do think that the concept of highly portable, object-oriented content that is personally and virally distributed will redefine how we think about Web pages, and how advertisers think about using the Web to communicate and interact with consumers.

That’s part of what I was writing about in my post After the Page: the deconstruction of content as we know it now (pages, sites, URLs) through radical distribution (which will only explode the audience for good content — and that ads that, perhaps, will go with it). This is why the FaceBook platform matters (don’t worry, my Facebook obsession will pass soon — but not yet).

But there’s danger here: I fear a flood of bad widgets from emergency widget brainstorming meetings in media conference rooms across the land: ‘Let’s make widgets out of everything we make! Widgetize the world!’ The best widgets will also interact with the environment in which they find themselves and, simply, will be worth embedding.

: MORE: Thanks to this blogger, who remembered what I wrote better than I did, I rediscovered a related post I wrote two years ago: Feedthink meets Widgethink. Most content is a feed and feeds can fill many widgets and that adds up to a new architecture for pages and content.

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.


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 105 mln people visited MySpace in April 2007 and […]