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Ajit Jaokar's Mobile Web 2.0 Blog: "The Dawn of the Widget Widget Web"

As Om Malik Says, "Suddenly Everything's Coming Up Widgets"

The World Wide Web, as we know it, is exploding. From its fragments emerges a new "container-based" Web based on Widgets. For the lack of a better term, I shall call it a "Widget Widget Web."

I have long advocated the power of Widgets to transform the Web as we know it. Hence, I am starting a new set of blogs on the future potential and evolution of Widgets.

Recently, Om Malik also wrote a great article Suddenly everything's coming up widgets. The goal of the Widget Widget web series of blogs is to discuss the evolution of the Web using the Widgets philosophy.

Modularization of software and applications is not new. The idea is simply "moving up the software stack."

I remember the time when Object Oriented Software was a such a big buzzword (and as a slight diversion, I also remember someone telling me then that - their software was "Object Oriented" - whatever they did - the users objected! Hehe.). Following on from there, the SOA folks talked about service modularization and rehashing at a service level.

And now, we in the Web 2.0 era, are talking of Widgets at a user interface/browser/business level.

The simultaneous of evolution of widgets, AJAX and other technologies is no accident since they are all feeding off each other to create a powerful new ecosystem.

Thus, the Widget Widget Web series of blogs are going to look at Widgets 2.0 (I hate sticking 2.0 after everything - but it does convey the point I am trying to make i.e. we are talking about how widgets will evolve)

In keeping with my background, Widget Widget Web will discuss Widgets in context of Mobile Web 2.0 in addition to the Web in general. With the emergence of the full web browsers on mobile devices, there is a natural tendency of web widgets to 'cross the chasm' to the mobile web.

Let me throw up a few ideas, both existing and forthcoming. Please feel encouraged to comment on these:

  • a) Widgets are currently performing a single specific task
  • b) Like RSS, they are sending out information from the parent site and enabling the recipients to use that information in their own sites (for example: the use of YouTube videos in MySpace)
  • c) Widgets have widespread support from Operating system vendors and browser vendors
  • d) Widgets have support from major web services/sites like MySpace and YouTube
  • e) A cottage industry is emerging in the creation of Widgets and new Widget authoring tools are becoming mainstream
  • f) Other applications like Salesforce.com are adopting widgets

What else? My favorites are:

1. Widgets on the Mobile Web which I have already talked about before
2. Widgets calling Widgets (hence leading to whole applications based on widgets - not just small functional applications)
I welcome any information about interesting work you are doing in this space (especially developments based on web technologies) and I shall include it in this series of blogs if possible

Thus, I have only a broad vision about the evolution of widgets (probably a bit biased towards the mobile web) and user feedback will drive the Widget Widget Web series of blogs

Finally, I am also looking for an author who would be interested in writing a book for futuretext on the vision of the Widget Widget Web (not necessarily mobile-oriented).
If that’s of interest, please contact me at ajit.jaokar (at) futuretext.com.


Images were sourced from Yahoo Widgets  and Opera Widgets. Image created by Maggie Baldry.

More Stories By Ajit Jaokar

Ajit Jaokar is the author of the book 'Mobile Web 2.0' and is also a member of the Web2.0 workgroup. Currently, he plays an advisory role to a number of mobile start-ups in the UK and Scandinavia. He also works with the government and trade missions of a number of countries including South Korea and Ireland. He is a regular speaker at SYS-CON events including AJAXWorld Conference & Expo.

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