Thursday, May 17, 2007

Widgets are the new websites

So I went to a really interesting event last night run by chingwag live about widgets. It was full of techy people with an interesting panel including:

  • Mark Taylor - Head of Content, Eircom

  • George Berkowski - Head of Internet Strategy, BT Retail

  • Fergus Burns - CEO & Founder, nooked

  • Jonathan Gabbai - Solutions Manager, eBay

  • Kaj Häggman - Business Development Manager & Inventor, WidSets

They talked about the different developments in the market and how different companies were using them. It really comes down to amalgamation and customisation of content within a framework that a consumer wants. Like my igoogle page. Which includes my google reader, websites RSS feeds and I am sure I will continue to use more. On my blog I have a widget to the planners ning, one for my reeder etc. These will continue to expand messages content and brands. Some examples of what widgets are:

a tear of the internet the way you want it

Bumper stickers from the internet

Chunkification and verification of information, where you want it and when you want it, how you want it

One that I had seen recently which was brought up by Fergus from Nooked who actually created a desktop widget for ryanair. Stating that the widget has increased online purchases considerably. As the information is customised to what the person wants or has previously bought. (like amazon). But it sits on their desktop having a consistent presence but is the consumer pulling the information... not brands pushing. One person said its 'like technologically advanced DM that is more about what the customer wants... not what we want them to want'

There was someone in the audience from Vodafone and from Nokia. It was interesting hear them question Kaj from Widsets about the creation of widgets on the mobile platforms and how they continue to struggle to get them freely uploaded through the networks. Nokia want them.... Vodafone want to make money from them.... there is a problem here. There are supposedly 1million members of widsets and 90% (thnx HeGe) of their widgets have been made by their members. this has grown in 6 months. This is a huge growth area... once each party figure out what they want from its development.

The expansion of widgets into the mass was also brought up. Apple have had free downloadable widgets for years. Yahoo has a large collection. Vista now has 'gadets' element that allows for widgets. This highlighted the problem that if a client was to create a widget that would need to create a huge amount of different platforms.

Also discussed all the different software programs that are out or coming out. Silverlight from Microsoft that allows you to create widgets. Adobe Apollo which is more advanced. Universal Widget from Netvibes.

There was a couple of really interesting examples of widgets and widget banks including:




When I asked a question towards the end ... which I didnt think they quite understood around the idea of win-win marketing using widgets as a service for the customer to build a more positive perception of your brand. They came down to quite a sly remark. 'Its like ten years ago asking, should we have a website'. Although it was a little arrogant. It was an interesting comment to speak to clients about

I also spoke to an interesting guy who works for a venture capitalist. They are really struggling to get the information from companies out there on how to develop this sought of technology for investment and return. Should be interesting to see its future.


Fergus Burns said...

Hi Michael

I hope you enjoyed the event - the questions and conversation was very interesting.

the different platforms for widget are quite unique from a results perspective - desktop, web, and mobile.

Check out for widget economy post

Best regards

HeGe said...

Hi Michael, great wrap-up, and great evening! One small correction regarding UGC and WidSets. The number of widgets created by "normal users" (i.e., non-programmers) is 90%, not 19%.

mike said...

thanks hege... I will make the change

I really have to get my hearing tested

Will said...

Thanks for this. I didn't go, but one of my friends did.

Are you going to the Summer event on the 6th of July?