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Posts Tagged ‘Widgetbox’

Clever Hippo a Search Engine for Apps and Widgets

November 14th, 2007 No comments

We just received an email about Clever Hippo. They claim to be a search engine for apps and widgets.

From their email:

Clever Hippo Application Search is a search engine for applications and widgets across the web. A more robust version of our Facebook search app, the new Clever Hippo searches the thousands of applications and widgets that are available for your favorite social network, mobile device, blog, home page, and desktop. Clever Hippo Application Search helps you find the apps and widgets that you are looking for.

After playing around with it for a few minutes, it does seem interesting. There is a fair amount of apps and widgets already in the search engine and there is a submission process for developers to get their apps/widgets included.

The search results are as expected and they have added a voting system for users to vote for popular apps or widgets.

Clever Hippo themselves have both a Facebook app and a HTML widget.

If you have ever used Facebook’s app search, you know how bad it is, which creates a space for Clever Hippo to fill. However, if Facebook ever fixes their app directory and search it will severely impact Clever Hippo.

Branching out to other platforms and systems is a good move for them, but it will be tough to compete with existing well established widget directories. At this point, it’s still better and easier to go to WidgetBox or Apple for specialized searches, among others. However, there is space for a cross platform app and widget specific search engine. So, if they do it right, it could still pay off.

For now, Clever Hippo is pretty basic. For us, its real benefit is that it is a replacement for the broken Facebook app search. We will have to see how they develop and grow the search engine to fill the app/widget search space while there’s little competition.

Widgetbox Hosted HTML and JavaScript Widgets

October 10th, 2007 2 comments

It’s been a long while since we have played around with Widgetbox, but we recently ran into a site where Widgetbox was one of two whitelisted widget platforms so we re-visited their offerings.

The feature that was of interest to us was the hosted HTML and JavaScript widgets. We were trying to put an exiting widget on a page where the source site was not on the destination site’s whitelist. Rather than recreate the widget, for a variety of reasons, we just wanted to wrap the widget using Widgetbox (since Widgetbox was whitelisted).

From Widgetbox:

Type in HTML and JavaScript that Widgetbox will serve up. Take advantage of Widgetbox’s configuration system to let users configure the widget.

This was perfect for what we wanted to do. We grabbed the embed code of the intended widget and pasted into the Widgetbox creation tool. This is where the Widgetbox hosted solution shines a little and was a nice surprise. They have created a method for you to replace sections of the code and inject param values based on user input at time of widget configuration. What this means is that, not only did we get to wrap the widget for our own use, but it also enabled others to grab either a copy of our widget or input their own id and get their own user specific widget.

Since they are one of the big players in this space, they are likely to be whitelisted by most destination sites. The limiting factor here is that it is a JavaScript hosted solution so this will not work on some of the major social network sites. Of course, this also means that this could easily be abused.

Another thing that we noticed was that when you embed a widget, Widgetbox auto creates a widget panel. What this does is allow users to add new widgets to the destination site through the Widgetbox panel management system rather than embedding code again on the destination.

Overall, Widgetbox has a nice implementation that is easy to use. They are definitely one of the leaders in this space and we will need to check in on them more often.

Categories: Widgets Tags: ,

Competitions and Contests

June 15th, 2007 No comments

There are a few contests currently running. If you have some free time, they are worth checking out. Time is running out, so don’t wait too long.

Sandbox Designs Competition (details here)
WordPress theme competition utilizing only CSS to modify the Sandbox theme. Contest ends July 29, 2007 with awards standing at $1650(first), $750(second), $450(third), $300(fourth) and three runners-up with $50 each. If more sponsors join, the prize money could go up.

WordPress Plugin Competition 2.0 (details here)
Weblog Tools Collection is running a WordPress plugin competition. Details are still being worked out, but the competition is set to end on July 21, 2007.

Widget Contest (details here)
Freewebs and Widgetbox announces a widget contest with a Grand Prize of $1000. Entries must be submitted by July 5, 2007. The winner will be announced at WidgetCon on July 11.