The dawn of the Widget Widget Web ..


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 word, 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! :) ). Following on from there, the SOA folk 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. Seek comments 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 are adopting widgets

What else?

My favourites are

a) Widgets on the Mobile Web which I have already talked about before

b) 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

Images were sourced from Yahoo Widgets

and Opera Widgets. Image created by Maggie Baldry


  1. When it comes to widgets, there are some new tricks/features added when you are using XIN to create them.
    With XIN you can let a user save a widget with all it’s current data for later.
    The public demo at shows how it works.
    It’s like apples ‘timemachine’ – only it’s online.

  2. I think widgets are awesome. Check out my new widgets on the URL listed above.
    Thanks for your article.

  3. Ajit Jaokar says:

    Thanks Christopher rgds Ajit