Posts tagged ‘WidgetBox’

Roll-Your-Own with WidgetBox’s Blidget

“Take your blog.  Make it into a widget.  Share it with all the widgetsphere.”

No, not a haiku, but rather the description on WidgetBox’s Blidget tool set that unlocks your blog headlines and sets them free in the form of a Blidget (blog + widget = blidget). Well, bad nomenclature aside, this tool represents the next step in the maturation of the widget marketplace, or “widgetplace.”

All that is required is a blog URL and presto-chango, you’ve created your own widget. Post the widget on your FaceBook profile. Better yet, create a developer profile listing in WidgetBox’s directory and distribute your blidget to the widget community, or “widgetmunity.”

blidget.jpg

You have a choice of displaying just headlines, or entire posts. And, you have complete control over style, format, color scheme, etc. It’s a great way to promote content, offering a dynamically updated feed with one-click install. In addition to Facebook, WidgetBox allows for easy-installs for many of the popular platforms. See image below

.widget_list.jpg

WidgetBox even provides some basic metrics for you to monitor your blidget’s popularity. When open standards are adopted, you can imagine even greater possibilities for a tool set such as this.

The only thing I would have added is the ability to allow others to download the blidget from within the application, rather than back on the WidgetBox site. This would add to the blidgets viral capabilities and allow publishers to serve as their own distribution hubs. Otherwise, the genius of this application is in its simplicity and you have to applaud the 16 person team at WidgetBox for their ability to automate and commoditize the widget-building process – widgetations to all.

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November 8, 2007 at 10:48 pm 2 comments

BuiltWith Widget – How Could We Live Without

For our first widget review, we thought it only fitting to review the BuiltWith widget, by developer Garazy. A widget that “Lists what your blog is built with. Shows if you are using analytics, frameworks, blogs etc.” was too good to pass up.

And, it did live up to expectations. We added the widget via distributor WidgetBox, which provided a user-friendly way to install the widget onto a variety of platforms. We chose to post to our iGoogle page, which once account id/password were provided, was quick and seemless.

Technically, a Google Gadget, the horizontal box magically appeared on top of my iGoogle start page upon my next visit. The builtwith service proved to be a powerful resource in analyzing web sites. It also offers a rating based on 1 – 5 stars for technical implementation. Not really sure how this ranking is derived, but given that it had rated this site a 4 out of 5, I was impressed with its insight and uncanny accuracy.

The site reviews four key aspects of a site’s architecture, including: analytics, frameworks, syndication and document formatting. In-depth analysis for each is provided on the http://www.builtwith.com web site. Site traffic analysis is provided by Complete.com. The service was helpful in reviewing competitive web sites, providing meta key words, identifying technologies such as Flash or Java, and traffic analysis.

The only drawback was that the search and results are performed not via the widget, but rather on the builtwith.com web site. In the iGoogle Gadget case, the widget simply served as a link back to builtwith.com.

I could see this being of more value as a FireFox plug-in, providing the same data in a drop down window or more transparent way than having to refer back to the builtwith web site.

The service also offers a more comprehensive report that site owners can order, but with a 4 out of 5 rating, I didn’t want to press my luck. If you’re a web developer, reviewer or online marketer, the BuiltWith widget and service could be a valuable resource for you.

Click here to download the BuiltWith Widget.

October 30, 2007 at 11:59 pm 1 comment


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