I read with fascination an article from BusinessWeek called, Who Wants To Be A Facebook Millionaire? It's not the first time I've heard about a couple of people getting together, creating an widget for Facebook and reeling in the big bucks. Realistically, those are the stories you read about. You don't hear the other side of the coin:
"Since Facebook opened its service to outside developers in May, some 70,000 people have requested the tools to develop Facebook applications. So far, most of these 'apps' are simple ones like Sticky Notes, which allow Facebookers to write messages to their friends on what looks like a Post-it note. But of the 5,000 different widgets (BusinessWeek.com, 7/23/07) now available for Facebook users to add to their personal pages, only about 100 have been installed half a million times or more."
While success in the Widget creation world is tough, that just reinforces how much Widgets are changing the Digital Marketing landscape. Avinash Kaushik (Evangelist for Google Analytics) calls it the "fluid Web" - where people like you and I are having this seamless (and ongoing) digital interaction that has little to do with clicking through HTML pages. There's no denying that as RSS and Widgets take hold, the dynamics on Online Advertising changes with it. How do we handle online media deals in a world that went from people going out to the Web to search for stuff to a world where the Web comes to you - be it on your desktop or in your Facebook profile?
More and more companies are also jumping on the Widget Wagon - be it applications in Facebook, downloadable Widgets for your desktop or even Widgets for your mobile device. Word also came this week that both MySpace and Google might be making moves towards opening up their platforms so developers can Widgetize those environments.
Big changes through small applications.
Rise Widgets. Rise.