Posts Tagged ‘Blogs’

Getting Carried Away with Rankings

June 12th, 2007 No comments

Don’t forget to check out our bLaugh Widget and stay on top of the latest bLaugh comics.

Categories: Widgets Tags: , , ,

Clearspring and NBC Universal Push Widgets

June 6th, 2007 No comments

Clearspring and NBC Universal announced today that NBCU will be using the Clearspring widget syndication and distribution platform to distribute widgetized NBCU content. The initial launch will include content from Dateline, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, as well as content from NBC Sports, and, according to the press release.

Plans are to expand on the available content and allow for “deeper engagement for fans of NBCU content.” Users will be able to personalize the widgets and post them to their personal blogs, social networking profiles, web sites, start pages, etc.

Clearspring is positioning itself to be the leading widget syndication and distribution platform.

Some highlights:

NBCU appears to understand the changing landscape and is embracing it. They have been pushing their programing to broadband, mobile, iTunes and more. Back in March, announced social-networking tools and the ability for their viewers to share NBC videos. This partnership with Clearspring illustrates that they are taking a lead in the new digital media landscape.

“We want to create a fun, shared experience for our users and understand their needs as they interact with our content beyond our online properties.” said Sab Kanaujia, Vice President, Digital Product Strategy & Development, NBC Universal.

Additional Coverage:

Wize not so Wise and a bit too early

June 5th, 2007 2 comments

We’ve spent the last 24 hours reviewing the new revenue-generating widget from Wize. Wize is a product research site that consolidates product reviews from various sources and scores each product on their Wize Rank scale. The new widget aims to help bloggers who post about products by presenting relevant products in the widget from the Wize system. If the blogger joins the Wize affiliate program, they will get a share of the revenue generated from the click throughs. While we love the idea, it does seem to fall a bit short. In our opinion, Wize would have been wiser to build-out the system more before release. To be fair, this is only a review based on what we have researched. We do not have access to a TypePad blog, so we have not done any form of real testing. This leads to our first complaint.

It is understandable to release products and services in a controlled manner. However, you get very few chances to make an impression. While TypePad has a large following, why limit yourself to just TypePad. Our guess is that the much of this is probably linked to the development necessary to make the widget content specific and targeted. The traditional Flash widget is limited in this respect and content aware widgets need closer integration with various blog platforms. If WordPress was added to the list, we would have been more receptive on this front.

Without being able to test on WordPress, we did not bother to try out the affiliate program. Though, we did take a look around to see where and how one would join. As far as we can tell, the current process requires you to contact Wize via an email form. Again, we understand the development and planning necessary to build an affiliate system, but a more automated process should be part of the initial release process. At this point, there are 2 major hurdles to the adoption of the widget and we haven’t even touched on the widget itself.

With those two items aside, the widget itself is a bit lacking. It appears that there is only one defined widget size and display. Being an initial release the limited offering is understandable, but this doesn’t mean you don’t give more consideration to the widget. First off, the thing is huge at 160 by 950 pixels. The good thing is it will fit in most sidebars, but in our opinion the height of the widget should be shorter. Standard wide skyscraper ad size is 160 by 600 pixels, why deviate from the standard? Much of the content in the widget could be made smaller without sacrificing readability. A few more pre-defined sizes shouldn’t have been difficult and should have been provided.

Some interesting things could have been done with variable sizing. For example, rather than just one widget taking up the entire sidebar, you can attach a 468 by 60 pixel banner to the end of each blog post with targeted products specific to that post. This way, a page with 5 posts on 5 different products can get the appropriate relevant product reviews. Or, a square format that provides the top rated product. There are many ways this widget can be used and this initial release is just selling itself short.

Overall, Wize and their widget have potential. We feel that there is a place for them, but there are already other product widgets available and their initial offering is far behind. From a business standpoint, we get the feeling that they are being overly cautious. Another few weeks to develop a few extra features and a better framework would have been time well spent. Let’s hope their next iteration is much more impressive.

Categories: Misc Tags: ,

bLaugh Widget Updated and Powered by Clearspring

June 4th, 2007 No comments

We’ve updated the bLaugh widget. A bLaugh! logo was added and the buttons have been colorized to match. The biggest change is the new “Grab it!” feature. This new option allows anyone to easily get this widget onto their own site or profile page. There are currently 11 pre-defined site options (no more hand coding) and email or the embed code. What this means is easy access to blogs, Blogger, social networks, MySpace, Facebook, start pages, Pageflakes, etc.

The widget is also now powered by Clearspring. The “Grab it!” feature is part of the Clearspring platform, in addition to a slew of analytics. We are looking forward to seeing what the Clearspring platform can do and once the system officially launches we’ll provide a review.

Clicking on the logo will take you to Both the comic image and title will take you to the comic page. However, all three of these will not work on sites like MySpace where they set allowNetworking=internal. For those sites, you can use the old bLaugh! custom embed code that will work on sites that block external links like MySpace.

[update 2010/01/25: widget removed due to lack updates and interest]

Google Blog Search and Grazr Equals News Widget

May 22nd, 2007 2 comments

Derek over at Widgets Lab did a quick mashup of Google Blog Search and Grazr to give us a nice widget news widget. Basically the Google Blog Search, “widget” and “webwidget”, is provided in RSS format and fed into Grazr, an OPML/RSS feed reader. If you need to keep up-to-date on widgets then this could be a what you are looking for. Or, if you like the concept, you can create your own blog news widget in a few minutes.

Head over to Widgets Lab for more details and the functional widget.

Categories: Widgets Tags: , ,