Widgify has a couple of posts on start pages becoming widget management systems and allowing export of their widgets outside of their domains. Here are the Widgify posts on Pageflakes and yourminis.
It’s good to see these companies moving in this direction. We took a look at the offerings and noticed one major difference. The Flakes from Pageflakes are exported in HTML code snippets while the minis are Flash widgets. This means that the Flakes will be limited in where they can be used (social networks do not allow this type of code) and the minis can be used just about anywhere (MySpace, Stickam, blogs, etc).
It will be interesting to see where these two companies take this and if other start page companies will follow.
For NBA fans, here is a yourminis scoreboard widget for the NBA. If you don’t like the yourminis widget, there’s always the scoreboard from SpringWidgets.
[Widget removed, no longer supported.]
We have a slight update for the bLaugh Widget. Both MySpace and Stickam insert the allowNetwoking=internal tag onto the embed code which disables external linking from Flash. Unfortunately, there are other sites that are following in this direction. This makes it difficult for Flash widgets to provide the user experience that many widgets providers and developers want to present to the user. We are no different in this respect.
After a bit of tinkering with the bLaugh Widget, we have come up with a simple solution which allows the user to click, navigate to and view the original bLaugh comic and comments on bLaugh.com. Below is the new code which will enable this on sites like MySpace and Stickam.
Code (for MySpace, Stickam, allowNetworking=internal, et al):
Example (for MySpace, Stickam, allowNetworking=internal, et al):
[Widget removed, no longer supported.]
We hate to play the conspiracy theorist, but there’s definitely more to it than it seems. MySpace is being very selective in who they choose to blacklist. As far as we can see, there is no unbiased uniform criterion that they are using to determine who should be blocked. Google Video and YouTube have just as much inappropriate or copyright content as the other sites on their hit list, yet they are not blocked.
If we were MySpace, we wouldn’t block Google, YouTube or the other big name sites either. But, until MySpace comes out and says how and why they choose certain sites to block, it’s just going to look like a strong arm tactic to quash the smaller players in this space.
The latest victim from the hit list is VideoCodeZone. Mashable has a summary of the block and comparison with the recent block placed on Stickam.
Additionally, as far we know, MySpace is not working with or notifying others why they are blocked or how to get unblocked. If it were just “objectionable” content, they could as least prepare a form letter to respond to companies that have been blocked with the specifics of their policy and how to remove the block. There are no reports from anyone that MySpace responds adequately when these companies inquire about the block. However, that leads us back to why isn’t Google or YouTube on this list. Your conspiracy theory is as good as anyone else’s, at least until MySpace speaks out officially.
CuStickam, the “Official Stickam Profile Editor”, has been updated to version 2.0 (note: CuStickam is not developed by Stickam). We wrote about CuStickam back in August and it looks like CuStickam’s been busy. Not only has it undergone significant changes and updates, it’s been linked directly from Stickam’s “Edit Profile” page for some time now.
The customization interface is much nicer and the preview feature is a nice addition. Once you are done, just cut and paste into your Stickam profile and that’s it. However, if you create an account on CuStickam, you will be able to save your layouts and images, share your customizations or use other’s layouts.
In the limited time we’ve spent on the site, we do have a complaint about the image and layout gallery. The image gallery thumbnails are way too small and it requires 2 clicks to view them in a larger size. There is already a “details” pop-up, why not just include a larger thumb there with a link to the full size? The layout gallery has no thumbnails at all and the links are just ID numbers. This definitely needs improvement. Overall, we are still very impressed with CuStickam.
Slated for future release are forums, chats and auto-insert into your Stickam profile. These features would round out CuStickam pretty nicely and help both CuStickam and Stickam gain popularity and traction. Let’s hope Stickam does more than just link to CuStickam. They should partner up with CuStickam or provide them with a preferred status API so that CuStickam can develop more interesting add-on services. For example, CuStickam can host their chat directly on Stickam as a preferred partner/sponsor channel. This model can be carried out with other smaller content specific community sites that would love to have a hosted video chat system.
While the lockout by MySpace hurts Stickam (and another post), it looks like Stickam’s starting to gain some traction. If they continue to refine their system, work out the bugs and encourage third party services, they will have a nice social network of their own.
It’s been a few days now and “stickam.com” is still being filtered by MySpace. We have inquired with both companies and have yet to receive any information. Nothing at all from MySpace and Stickam indicates they are working on the issue. From what we can tell, this is definitely an intentional act by MySpace. The question is, was this just a overly aggressive filtering script or a “sinister” act on the part of MySpace, as Pete Cashmore describes it. Only time will tell. Now that Mashable has picked up the news of “MySpace Blocking Stickam”, maybe we’ll get more interest in this and actually get some answers.
There are simple workarounds to this, but ultimately we need to know why MySpace is filtering Stickam. We have tested and verified ways around this. However, the examples were taken down as not to have our own domains filtered. MySpace would probably just adjust their filter to block any solutions that Stickam can come up with if the rationale behind the block it is not addressed.
We’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.