A few students in the Online Community class asked what widgets are, so here’s a partial answer and a few examples.
This blog is powered by WordPress, which defines a widget as “a self-contained piece of code that you can move into, out of and anywhere inside your sidebar. You can use to personalize your blog and deliver information you want.” But widgets also are used by Web sites in general and news sites, specifically. As I mentioned in class, one of the most common type of widget is one that provides real-time weather information. I also mentioned the Mac’s many widget options.
The Morning Call newspaper in Pennsylvania recently added a widget that allows users to search for detailed information on kennels and breeders, a widget the paper offers to anyone for incorporation into their sites and blogs. So I could add the widget and you could use my blog to search on and for specific kennels, using the Morning Call’s extensive database to help you determine the good from the potentially criminal.
As you can probably guess, there are blogs devoted to finding and reviewing widgets, including the blog SexyWidget.
Do you want a widget? Lots of places to go to get one, including WidgetBox: directory and syndication platform for web widgets for blogs and other web pages, including MySpace pages.