Widgets: Your Guide to Distributed Media

by Dan Blank on January 25, 2008

WidgetsDon’t know what a widget is? Well, chances are you have at least seen them:

“81 percent of all Web surfers in the U.S. saw a widget” in November 2007.

Widgets are a way to distribute content, via embeddable chunks of code. Widgets can live on any website, and include a variety of content types, including interactive content.

Jodi McDermott looks at the different variety of widgets:

“There is really three different types of widgets. There is web widgets, desktop widgets, and mobile widgets. Traditionally, widgets were desktop widgets; some of the first ones that came out were stock tickers, clocks, basic tools, or calculators. Now, they are much more rich applications like games, interactive brand promotions, product promotions. Some examples of web widgets, which are really the most prevalent that you see out there, some examples that we have seen recently would be movie promotions.”

Two media brands are pushing widgets to set their content free on the web:

  • Forbes has a variety of widgets available for use.
  • CNET has widgets for four of their brands.

Jeremiah Owyang – as usual – has a phenomenal breakdown of how to leverage widgets. His guiding principle behind widgets:

“…savvy fisherman fish where the fish are…”

He comment on the growing sophistication and profitability of this model:

“…expect widget networks like Slide, Rockyou, Widgetbox, Watercooler, and many many others, to become like syndicated networks, offer self-serve advertising, begin to offer metrics, and offer unique co-branded, and co-sponsored marketing campaigns to brands. Two of these networks will likely be acquired by large media or internet companies in the next 11 months.”

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