Today, the internet world is fascinated with the ability for users to create and customize their personal web pages. New social networking sites are popping up every day, aspiring to be the next "MySpace" or the next "Facebook". They all offer the same thing; A "public profile page" for the user, but what makes this profile page different for every user is, the Content. Users hooked on to these social networking sites need to put up fresh content and jazz-up their pages to ensure that they do not look old and boring to their friends. One of the effective ways to make that happen is to use widgets.
Widgets are applications that can be embedded into 3rd party website by placing a small snippet of code. Yahoo, Google, MSN have developed thousands of widgets for people to choose and embed. The code brings in some live content, such as, advertisement, links, Photos etc. Until recently, only photos were being shared through widgets, but now music, video and documents are being shared. Moreover, until now, all the users had to upload their content to display it in the widget; But with new widgets like Purplenova FunCaster, they do not have to upload. All they have to do is to keep content on their PC and publish it through Purplenova. This provides users full control over when and how long they want to share. This also helps them keep their content fresh. (All they have to do is, make changes to the content on their PC).
Apart from social networkers, there are other users like bloggers, personal website users, news readers and aggregators etc who need to keep their content fresh and exciting. For them, frequent uploads is a major bottleneck. Now they can publish their content on multiple platforms or sites using FunCaster type of widget. Web users flaunt their profile by adding all kinds of widgets like your lucky number, your favorite quote, your sun-signs, today's weather information etc. There are many more widgets available for people to use. They are handy, simple and easy to use and they definitely add some life and excitement to their personal page.
As rightly said by Thomas Friedman, The World is flat, but I feel that not only is it flat but also squashing. Bloggers rightly call it the "Year of Widgets". The next few years will be exciting for widgets.