Widgets & the fast changing world of the internet

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The Washington Post has an article on the “wave of Widgets” spreading all over the Web, as “entrepreneurs experiment with ways to profit from web site & desktop gizmos.” I think some of these can be useful, but very easily become intrusive. When you ad Advertising to the mix, the danger of becoming intrusive becomes bigger.

The standard Internet advertisement is so familiar that most people tune it out: a billboard stripped across the top of a Web site, waiting for consumers to surf by and maybe click on it.

Now a young generation of online-ad creators are pushing a newer idea: putting a brand on a mini-site so fun or useful — a video game or a spruced-up calculator or a live sports update — that people download it, paste it on their personal blogs or social networking sites, use it again and again and share it with friends.

It’s called a widget, an old word for a 21st-century product. And it’s what they make at an expanding roster of companies that locally includes Freewebs of Silver Spring and Clearspring Technologies of Arlington — start-ups founded in the past two years.

“Advertisers are no longer wanting people to click on a link to buy something,” said Haroon Mokhtarzada, Freewebs’ 27-year-old founder and chief executive. “Now they’re wanting people to engage in a neat product while they build brand equity.”

I use the Southwest “Ding” widget. I wanted it, but to be honest, I have started just shutting it down. It dings every day, but because I haven’t had the time to set my preferences, its been useless. Widgets with to much set-up time, or that requires to many steps to set-up are not going to be all that usefull.

It’s interesting nevertheless. The internet in its constant ever-changing state of evolution.

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