Widgets (pronounced WIH-jits) are being integrated into web pages and social networking sites at such an alarming rate that 2007 has been referred to as the year of the widget in a Newsweek article (December 22 2006). Richard MacManus, in a similar article refers to widgets as the new black. Widgets, quite simply, are chucks of programming code which can be easily dragged onto a desktop or pasted into a personal web page, where they can be constantly updated with whatever information you want. These mini-applications are also known as modules, gadget, badge, module, capsule, snippet, mini, flakes and plug-ins.
The usefulness and portability of widgets have not gone unnoticed by online content providers. Web portals like Google and Yahoo! offer customizable pages to their users. Mainstream media houses like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and ESPN have begun allowing users to design the page they see when they log on. Flickr.com, the photo-sharing site, lets its members create a “badge” that they can post on their blogs and personal home pages to let friends know when they’ve uploaded new snapshots.
Where can you find widgets?
- The 2007 list of Web 2.0 Awards website names the top 3 sites for finding and downloading widgets and is a good place to start http://www.seomoz.org/web2.0#cat_78
- Yahoo widgets gallery has over 3000 widgets for download http://widgets.yahoo.com/gallery/
- Google Desktop widgets http://desktop.google.com/plugins/
Here are links to 2 easily downloadable widgets. To include the coding in your web page or blog, simply follow the instructions for copying and pasting the chunk of code automatically generated.
- Word of the day Flash widget http://dictionary.reference.com/help/linking/wordoftheday-simple-widget.html
- Worldcat.org Searchbox (Click on link Put WorldCat Search Box on Your Site for directions on generating the html code to include in your blog or website) - http://www.worldcat.org/
Have some fun would ya, try a widget!!