Tangents in a Virtual PlayGround

Wonderful World of Widgets

For some months, I couldn’t really define “widget.” I clearly knew what one was, but somehow I just couldn’t really explain it to anyone else without saying “it’s this thing that does that thing, which links it to this other thing.” Yet, since I prefaced this definition with such enthusiasm, the receiving parties usually expected something more artful to pour from my lips. Now, I often reference the wikipedia definition of the word with such frequency that I definitely have it memorized, maybe.

In any case, widgets are becoming like the hippest thing on the web. They are like your personal web thumbprint. They can have so much personality and identity and they help drive web traffic. Let’s take Obama’s “O” widget, for example, which directs the user right where Obama wants he/she to go– to some important information on his website (i.e. donate here). Ah, clever.

Yahoo! has a site that allows you play with existing widgets and you can create your own widgets, as well. Yet, many companies have already jumped on this bandwagon and there are many sites out there for users to create their own unique widgets such as GrazrWigitize, Buzzfeed, and many more.

Oh and of course, there’s the Google Gadget which likely tops all the others I mentioned. I mean hell, it’s Google…

And the current King of Widgets? Well, Facebook of course daarlin’! All those (sometimes annoying) little thingamabobs all over the pages are widgets.

The widget is becoming a standard, really. Rock the Vote is even making creative use of the widget, as well.

And to think, not too long ago most of us used to associate the widget with the thingamabob, the whatchamacallit, and the gizmo.


July 20, 2008 - Posted by | Blogs for Class, Social Media |

1 Comment »

  1. […] Widgets: My latest blog post talks a bit about widgets and provides websites where you can create your own (and play with them […]

    Pingback by And…..Scene! « Digital Campaigning | July 23, 2008

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