Thursday, February 26, 2009

Widget Dex

© leeches in streamIn my ongoing to leech off the creative efforts of others, I added an index of widgets used in the CommunityColor sites. A widget is a piece of code designed and hosted by one site for display on others. YouTube objects are a great example of a widget.

The dangers of widgets are that the site providing the widget might go dark (leaving a hole in your web site). Even worse, some widget providers have turned to the dark side of the Net. Their widget is a bait and switch. The Widget provides a wonderful service in its bait days, then starts auto intalling parasiteware or other nasties in the switch phase. Imagine if YouTube were to go to the dark side!

This problem of trust has stunted the development of widgets.

To create a vibrant widget market, one would need to create tools for webmasters so that they could track and quickly remove all of the widgets on their site. I might write such a program. For now, I thought I would start simply by indexing the widgets I use. The primary purpose of the index is to let me know where I put the widgets. Eventually it might serve as an index of widgets for a community, which in turn might provide a market for local media creators.

BTW, if you are from the mountain west and have a widget on your site, you can contact me or leave a reply with a link to your widget. I might include it.

Right now I am just wiggling around in the stream waiting for the chance to sink my little teeth into the creative talents of others. Some widgets are rich and juicy, like the Amazon Deal Widget shows these lightening deals. I get a pile of pennies if people snap at Amazon's bait.

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