Google Joins the Widget World
Just when you think the web world is going to settle down, get out its pipe and slippers and kick back, someone rips up the blueprint and we have to start all over again.
When Facebook decided to create a platform that other people (ie software developers) could come and use as a shop window for their stuff it catapulted the social network from a preppy hang-out straight into the big-dog-o-sphere.
The reason simply being that new stuff attracts people which makes it a better place to launch new stuff. (Think restaurants). It wasn’t obvious that this move would work but 6,000 widgets later and following one of the most astute deals ever done on this or any other planet, we can safely say…good job.
However, even more tellingly, is the speed at which the other grand fromages have jumped on the bandwagon. First, Murdoch’s Myspace followed suit, then the open platform became a major strand of Jerry Yang’s uber-strategy for Yahoo, then Microsoft stumped up everything-for-nothing just to get a foothold, and now Google lines up an alliance to try and out-Facebook Facebook – in the shape of OpenSocial.
In a very Google-like way, this new standard is huge, ambitious and spread out all over the web. In a very un-Google like way, they are playing catch-up. For marketing folk it means that the world of widgets, which can be used to create little (or big) branding tools, just got a whole lot bigger.