Widget generations

I was having a conversation with Alex Abyad last night about widgets, ‘cos we’re going to build some together. As a way of explaining how widgets were developing and being used, I put them into three generations:

First Generation: “Windows on the web”. Basically exposed content sitting in isolation on someone’s page, such as my del.icio.us feed on my blog

Second Generation: Widgets that can take advantage of the context they are placed in to enhance themselves in some way. Netvibes widgets are a good example of this, and so are the “applications” (really widgets) Facebook now lets you write for it

Third Generation: Widgets that can interact with each other as well as their environment. I’m not sure there are many of these around yet, but people who are creating Mashup Editors, such as Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, and Teqlo are leading us in that direction.



  1. Posted June 5, 2007 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Yes, you’re quite right, absolutely correct, even. Every day you increase! I hope the party was Ideal, sadly I must apologise for missage, exhaustion bitched me after ident shooting… where’s my shameless plug for doing that absurd banner, eh? Alex gets one for talking to you and here I am, starving away, trying to eat my camera, thinking about widgets, at this time of night! Can you imagine? Cha.x

  2. Posted August 16, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.