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Posts Tagged ‘SpringWidgets’

Is a RSS Feed Widget for You?

January 29th, 2007 2 comments

Widgetoko posted about the RSS Reader widget from SpringWidgets the other day. While they had good things to say about the widget, they did question why someone would use it.

Suck any RSS feed into this Flash based reader widget-y widget. Works well, looks good, easy to configure but why?

Don from SpringWidgets actually responded with…

This is really an OPML, Video, Podcast *and* RSS reader widget.

We built the widget to allow for those people who publish blogs, like this one, who wanted to concurrently publish that content into MySpace easily. But it’s so much more than that

Today, Sexy Widget happened to post about another RSS feed widget by MuseStorm. The write-up was not in response to Widgetoko but it does discuss how feed widgets can be used, among other things specific to MuseStorm and their widget. It also touches on tracking stats for the feed and widget. It is a good read if you have wondered about RSS feed widgets and their usefulness.

We prefer other methods for publishing and consuming feeds for ourselves. However, we do use the SpringWidgets RSS Reader widget on our MySpace and Stickam profiles. Other sites do not always provide a RSS feature that we would like to use. When that is the case, we will deploy the RSS widget to extend our reach to those sites and to users who may not be accustomed to RSS feed readers.

While the MuseStorm stats look impressive it is not free. We utilize the free service from Feedburner for all our feeds and through the feed widget. The free Feedburner stats are much simpler but does the job for our needs (they do have a paid service). In addition, SpringWidgets has partnered with Feedburner to provide more prominent branding for the feed source. Below is an example of our Feedburner RSS feed in the Spring Widgets RSS Reader widget.

Unfortunately, we have not really provided a solid answer to the original question. It really is up to each individual to determine whether RSS feed widgets are what they need. That’s the great thing about widgets, everyone has their own opinion and they can pick and choose which widgets they want to use.

Start Pages Opening Up Their Widgets

January 21st, 2007 No comments

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.]

SpringWidgets by Fox Interactive Media

November 6th, 2006 2 comments

Saw a post over a TechCrunch about Fox Interactive Media’s SpringWidgets so we went to check it out. This offering is interesting. While there are plenty of other widgets platforms out there, Michael Arrington points out that SpringWidgets is currently the only one that is bridging the gap and targeting both the desktop and web.

There are only a handful of widgets listed on the site, still in Beta. Two of the widgets are below, Scoreboard and RSS Reader. SpringWidgets provides an easy to use configuration tool to set the size of the widgets. We have not downloaded or tested the desktop engine or the development API so those will be left for another review.

Overall, the site and widgets are easy to use and do what they are intended for. We will have to wait and see if they are able to develop more interesting widgets and if the developer community picks up on their platform.

It will also be interesting to see what Fox is willing to push through their new platform. We think that there is a huge opportunity for Fox to leverage their “content”, such as the Scoreboard. There is already a following for their existing media; sports, shows, movies, etc. Fans and bloggers will jump at the chance to have these widgets providing official content along side their own, a hockey blog with the NHL Scoreboard widget or a TV show fan and a widget with Fox supplied content on their MySpace profile.

Update (2006.11.6): SpringWidgets is also getting some coverage over at Read/WriteWeb and Mashable.