Widgets’ Wild Ride

    January 2, 2008

"Widget" is one of those words that your humble author may never be able to get past.  Like the name or not, though, the pesky-sounding things are here to stay.

They do, to be fair, go by a number of other designations – outside of social networks, Google Desktop Gadgets is what they’re called at one major company, and Google Desktop Gadgets have been at the center of several recent promotions.

Then there are Facebook Applications.  Wendy Tanaka writes, "[U]sers have installed nearly 13,000 widgetsWidgets' Wild Ride approximately 765 million times, according to Adonomics, a Web site that tracks widgets on the social network.  Adonomics estimates the combined value of these widgets to be $374 million."

So with any luck, something other than the term "widgets" will catch on before these creations grow more popular.  Still, while Ross Levinsohn warned Tanaka, "It’s too early to call it a bubble or a success," he then continued, "You’re really talking about the last six months as the real beginning of the growth of applications.  It’s just the beginning of what we’re going to see over the next 12 to 18 months."

At that point, the word "widget" may become similar to "blog" – still not great, but normal.