Want to build your brand cross-platiform but having trouble getting it to happen online? Widgets just may be your answer.
And it's cost-effective, too.
The Jointblog has been a longtime fan of widgets since first discovering Konfabulator in 2004 (later purchased by Yahoo! a year ago). With the release of Window's new Vista platform, PC users will get a whole new array of widget options (also known as "gadgets") for the desktop which will pull more Internet activity off of web browsers and onto these customized mini-applications.
Widgets were one of several great additions for Mac's OS X system, epecially for its Dashboard advancements for 10.3 and 10.4 in the last year (expect even more once Leopard 10.5 and the new iPhone are released this summer).
And Google already has invested deeply into widgets, too.
In addition, as WiFi and WiMax helps make the web more accessible with mobile devices and cellphones, widgets will be the key killer app to make the web tolerable to use when mobile.
It's the perfect bridge technology bringing "old" media into the new media world.
Business 2.0 said "suddenly everything's coming up widgets." In November, Newsweek proclaimed 2007 to be the Year of the Widget and we couldn't agree more. Last month, West Coast wireless carrier AllTel previewed its new widget-handy cellphone tools and received rave reviews for it at January's CES.
Most powerfully, these widgets create focused user experiences giving exactly desired content immediately, on-demand, 24/7, when the user wants it.
For content owners, it also provides an advertising opportunity that can be built right into the widget app.
It's the media trend the Jointblog continues anticipating to grow in significance.
The big question: will traditional media sources such a radio, TV, newspapers and magazines be too slow to notice or will they see the low-cost, ease-of-use opportunity in time?
If radio could figure out its DRM and AFTRA issues, it could create the perfect bridge to build fast online tuning. For example, RadioSherpa's radio badges.
What's going on with your radio station this week? On your morning show? Latest contests and promotions? How about for your market's entire cluster of radio stations? It can all be done on one widget you build. Auomatically, through RSS and other feeders.
Nice and easy. For you. And, more importantly, for your listeners' digital online needs.
Good follow-up article: What's Up With Widgets?
For a quick review of why widgets matter now, here's a 2-minute YouTube/Engadget clip explaining the immediate value of widgets and why you should consider offering customized widgets for your own users to use, install and even embed into their blogs and websites (which, if done, can serve as a free form of marketing for you):
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Sunday, February 18, 2007,