Welcome to the world of widgety goodness

It’s almost bibical.
Feeds(RSS) begat outliners(OPML)
Outliners begat tags
Tags began microformats
Microformats begat APIs
APIs begat widgets
Widgets begat start-ups
And the great mash up settled over the land.
Serial start-up mavens Scott Rafer and Oren Michaels have a new start-up named Mashery (guess what they do?)
Richard MacManus has a long post today on widgets. Richard writes: “I too have been tracking the growing importance of widgets, especially as it relates to the Personalized Start Pages space – Microsoft Live gadgets, Google’s modules, Netvibes and Pageflakes, and of course Yahoo’s konfabulator (although not yet integrated in a big way into MyYahoo).” and ” Nowadays it’s all about The Two-Way Web App! You can interact and ‘write’ to any number of small web services-driven apps.”
And Yahoo, of course, is supporting microformats, as the local/maps team points out.
Susan sez: Widgets could be flavor of the moment, but the ways that some widgets intersect with structured data (as opposed to intersecting with flashy, AJAX DHTML fancy effects) is one of the things I find compelling (Yes, I am fascinated by microformats, in particular).
For those less geeky than I am clearly becoming, what’s the deal here? And why should you care?
Well, for one thing, widgets (and microformats) offer the opportunity for users-and small business people, among others–to embed applications and dynamic apps into their pages/sites. If you hang around myspace, you see videoplayer widgets(think youtube), slideshow players ( rockyou) that have been cut and pasted in by users –and swickis, a eurekster product I worked on–are everywhere. So if you have content or tools, wouldn’t you want users to be able to export them? And if you have APIs, don’t you want people to build widgets with them–and then distribute those?
Viz, bibical.

Latest Comments

  1. Fergus Burns says:

    Hi Susan
    Great post – love the title of your post.
    Best Regards
    Fergus

  2. Ivan Pope says:

    Susan, that is such a good headline. I’m biased, as we’re rolling out our own Universal Widget solution, but we think that widgets that can play anywhere are more interesting than widgets that sit within your OS or within a walled home page, e.g. Netvibes or Yahoo. However, it all goes into the World of Widgety Goodness (or the Widgetsphere as we call it). Anyway, I look forward to introducing you to Snipperoo in the next week or so.

  3. Dave McClure says:

    that’s a great post Susan :)
    ALL PRAISE TO THE LORD OF WIDGETS, AND BLESSED ARE THE WIDGET FAITHFUL!
    or something like that.
    – dave mcclure

  4. Ori says:

    Susan, you’re right.
    Widgets are popular because they let non-techy people add dynamic content and interactivity to their blogs and web pages.
    At Musestorm we are trying to provide a wide array of Widgets, from Google search to YouTube videos to RSS feeds.

  5. Libby Davy says:

    Hi Susan, thanks for begetting the expression that helped build the Widgety Goodness conference on 6 December in Brighton. Looking forward to seeing your presentation! The pre-conference has already begun on Backnetwork. Speakers, participants, pundits and extended Widgety community are already together, connecting and sparking off each other at http://wg07.backnetwork.com/. Widgety bloggers can contact me for a special invitation to join if they can’t make it to the big event itself (infact you might jag a freebie to the conference if you can offer some good reasons why). The network will continue for 12 whole fruitful widgety months after 6 December. Hope to see / hear from everyone who can make it to the network and/or the conference in Brighton (just 30 mins from Gatwick and one of the most fun, digital places in Europe right now). Bestest – libby@authenticblogging.coma (WGUK07 Social Network Facilitator). Please tag posts and flickr photos about the conference WGUK07 to be aggregated and shared with the whole network.

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