Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Welcome to the Widgets web

It started innocent, I came across widgetbox and said sure I can write a widget. 7 Blidgets, 2 remote SWF widgets, and 2 social shout out widgets later I was wondering more about widgets. (Obligatory link to wikipedia). So did a little digging and found the following ( this is what I found, let me know if there is more )

  • 9 Platforms for widgets
  • 3 main technologies for web widgets
  • 10 desktop widget systems
  • 12 Million in funding I can find,
  • 2 Companies internally funding platforms (Fox and Vendio)
  • Mark Cuban funded one of them (undisclosed amount)
  • Mobile widget providers are popping up (found 3 but did not look that hard)
  • W3C? is driving a standard for this
  • 2 Widget conferences

And I found one great post which lays the whole thing out.

My Take I have not written widgets yet for all the platforms, though I think the simplicity of widgetbox enables creation, distrubtion, management with just knowledge of the basics (html and/or javascript). Want to go deeper then write some flash. I am impressed with yourminis, but not so much for the widget platform, rather for the potential of a "Social Desktop".

Most of the folks in this space are concentrating (at least from my perspective) on the ad network, I am not sure if the intention is to be the ad network or be the a channel for the ad network and claim a slice of the pie. They each seem to promote the number of widgets deployed, which I guess represents the amount of web-space they have access to. Bigger your network bigger your valuation. It also seems their biggest distribution is the blogging universe and the social platforms likes facebook/myspace. Myspace has SpringWidgets? , Yahoo has widgets, Google has theirs, MS has theirs, Apple has something, and note for most of these there is not only a widget concept but a layer which enables you to integrate closer to their core platform. I would expect (probably already exists) a widget platform which has default integration with MyFace? and one which is focused on 'mashups', maybe a QED-Mashup-Widget-Maker. I figure that a good exit for these companies would be acquisition by a core social or similar platform, widgets are important to a platform (because they offer front sidemulti-sided market platform dynamics). There is definitely one platform / company which is seems to resonate across all widget makers, "Adobe, all your widgets are belong to us."

I am by far not an expert on widgets, just writing my impressions so far.

Widgets I wrote, writing, or just playing with


List of widget based Systems

Widget Platforms

Widgets Tech

  • HTML
  • JAVA

Common Desktop Widget Systems

Mobile Widget Systems

Browser Extension

Standards for Widgets

Widget Conference

Widget Business Model conversations and observations


Derek Anderson said...

What search terms exactly did you use to gather all your widget info?
and how do I get my lowly blog about widgets to show up on these searches? It's been an uphill battle from day one!

Richard Friedman said...

Just the basic terms nothing special and your blog did come up in some of the searches.

Anonymous said...

it's the 1990's again!

Richard Friedman said...

That's the truth, we just rinse-repeat and reapply ;)