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22 March 2008

LOST Widget

LOST on ABCI know. I know. You're probably thinking, "Why is this guy cluttering up his site by adding a widget for something that doesn't appear to match the content and direction of his blog?"

Well, I thought the exact same thing when I found it. My initial instinct was to pass it by since I'm typically against adding widgets to blogs. But then I changed my mind. And here's why:

  1. I love LOST (warning: audio). I mean it's up there with my all time favorites like Friends (warning: audio), ER, Seinfeld and MacGyver (to take it back a few years). It's hard to call it the best show ever, but it's also hard not to. It takes television to the next level by combining humor, drama, suspense and science fiction to offer a roller coaster ride on the edge of reality. The widget offers some of the most interesting clips along with links to current news bites and fun facts about the show.
  2. I am still trying to figure out how to leverage widgets for the cause. Aside from creating your own widgets from scratch (flash development) I'm trying to figure out if the online tools will allow me to create the widget (in flash probably) and then use their engine to create the widget functionality so it can be shared on pages, blogs, sidebars, etc. So adding the LOST widget is also a test of sorts to see what the functionality does and what it looks like on a site. My first thought is that it's too big for the sidebar, but if it were any smaller it would be hard to see/read. I'm pretty sure these can be created thinner - though they tend to grow in length when you do that. Just a trade off I guess.
My Search Results
Here is one site that charges for the creation of widgets:
  • SplashCast (warning: audio)
  • Just about any web developer will make you one at a price...
Here are some free ones:
I love the widget concept. It offers you the ability to update important content in one place and yet have millions of viewable entry points all pulling the same content. It also allows people to use your controlled content in a way that means something to them (on their Facebook profile/page, as a post on their blog, in the sidebar of their blog, etc.). This 'viral' nature of the widget makes it highly useful as long as it can be designed well and leveraged correctly.

I'm leaning toward Sprout or Widgetbox at this point. I'll set up an account, do some design work in flash and see what comes of it.

Anyone know of a site with more punch? If so, let me know!