Widgets are small, add on programs that allow users to do basic tasks from finding stock quotes, weather information, serving as a calculator, etc. Apple calls their widget collection a “dashboard” (you can add dictionary widgets, business updates, myspace search, and more). Yahoo offers a gallery of thousands of widgets.
Widgets generally serve single tasks – providing some time of information selected by the user. Pageflakes embeds the widgets in a web page (and calls them flakes…but the functionality is very similar to widgets). Blog software – like WordPress and MovableType – offer widgets to extend the functionality of their services. Google calls their widgets “gadgets”…Firefox has add ons and extensions…Dave Lee links to blidgets (blogging widgets – yikes, we need a language purification session for technology) fromWidgebox, and on and on. All intended, of course, to help us make sense (and function within) the deluge of information washing over our computer (and increasingly, mobile) screens on a daily basis.
Of course there are concerns with widgets…and Scott Karp asks
Will Widgets Hit A Mainstream Wall Just Like RSS?