Yes, I know widgets are everywhere. In fact I’ve become a bit widget-obsessed lately, choosing my new WP theme because, amongst other things, I now have 3 columns for widgets instead of one 😛 . I do already use some customised WP widgets alongside the ready-made ones they offer.
Of course, another example of the widgetisation is Google’s iGoogle, which I’ve also used for quite some time now (though I must admit that I don’t use any of the widgets on my iGoogle on a regular basis).
So, why this post, now?
Well, first of all I came across a site the other day which looks very interesting, and which I want to play around with on a secret WP blog (yes, I do have more than one WP blog, though I only really write on lenina). The site is Widgetbox, with the tagline ‘widgetizing the web’ 😀
It’s a directory of web widgets, and as such really useful, especially for a project that I’m doing some research on.
There is something very narcissistic about personal widgets though, and it shifts communication from interaction with another person to interaction with yourself, playing solipsistically with yourself if you like. What I’m going to research in my project though is how to use widgets professionally, and how to integrate them into your website as a service for users. We’ll see.
It seems though that this prediction was somewhat true: 2007, is the year of the widget – i.e. the year widgets became mainstream.
Edit: Even the BBC now has widgets on their site, which is a good indication of the now mainstream status of widgets. On a different note, they also give a Wikipedia article as reference in the same article. Thus, Wikipedia is now deemed by the BBC a trustworthy authority source. Interesting. Well, I did use Wikipedia myself in my PhD, so I guess I paved the way 😛