Vancouver Olympics 2010
The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are well underway and it’s been a great games. In fact, the US Olympics Team has been amazing so far. From Shaun White’s double McTwist 1260 on this victory lap to Lindsey Vonn’s first ever USA Gold in the Women’s downhill on a bruised shin to the USA Men’s 5-3 win over Canada in hockey. These are just a few of the highlights as USA currently holds the top spot with 24 overall medals.
We love the Olympics for the sports, competition and spirit of the games. If you can’t get enough of it on TV, here are three widgets to keep you updated online.
Team USA has been promoting their athletes and the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver with a couple of widgets. With the games just 8 days away, we thought we should take a closer look at the widgets.
The widgets themselves are pretty straight forward. The 2 widgets are essentially the same widget in 2 sizes. Both widgets are 300 pixels wide with one being a standard IAB 300×250 pixels. In each widget you get video and athlete content along side a twitter feed. The twitter feed is a nice touch as it gives the widget fresh content more quickly and engages the visitors in the conversation.
As standard practice, you can share this widget and this is where the widget gets interesting for us. Now that Clearspring has announce the end of their Launchpad platform in favor of the AddThis product, a few key items have surfaced as a result of the transition to the AddThis sharing platform.
Built-in gadget, app and embed sharing are now gone as they are not currently supported by AddThis. Google gadgets has been replaced with Google Bookmarks, apps were replaced with stream/feed posts and embeds are now up to the widget coders to support on their own. These changes are not necessarily bad, but they were nice features within Launchpad (not to mention a slew of other features but we’ll save that for another post).
So far so good, even with the loss of the Google Gadgets and Facebook/MySpace Apps.
Here are some great widgets to keep you up-to-date on the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Below are a couple of examples with a few more available from the NBC Olympics website.
While it’s nice to have different widgets to accommodate different users and websites, we would have liked to see a single widget that could deliver the content of all 7 widgets combined. User interface is always a difficult thing to deal with due to the limited size of widgets. However, in this case the NBC Olympic widgets are a decent size and there are already several rows of controls. A left/right scrolling menu system could have easily added the functionality to provide more content.
NewsGator announced today that it is partnering with Agence France-Presse to deliver a widget featuring Olympics news and events coverage. Generally this isn’t really big news. With RSS feeds and generic RSS widgets abound, any site can pretty much obtain a Olympics news and events widget.
The really interesting part of this announcement is that the widgets will be advertising supported and brandable. A media property can sign-up to be a partner and provide a branding logo to be included in one of three widget templates. With this partnership you get two sets of code for deployment. One will be to display the widget, whether it be headlines, photos or videos. The second code snippet is to be deployed on the media property, which will be where the end-users actually read the content linked to in the widget. The widget itself is of course grabable with the usual distribution destinations.
What all this means is that the media property receives a branded widget which links back to that media property for consumption of the actual content. On top of that, not only is the widget and premium content free of charge, that media property will receive a $0.20 CPM. That’s a pretty sweet deal; free widget, free content, free traffic back to view the content on your site and $0.20 CPM to boot.