Widgets Live! was a fabulous day of festivities (November 6, 2006) which attracted the thought leaders of the web, mobile and gadget industries to discuss one of the hottest topics, widgets. Companies like AOL, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, Adobe all had representatives contributing details on its latest widget endeavors. A number of startups like FeedBurner, Six Apart, Wordpress and Photobucket contributed to the conversation. While widget startups like Widgetbox, Clearspring and Snipperoo explained the way they are approaching widgets. The event was appropriately kicked off by an insightful keynote address by Arlo Rose, the founder of Konfabulator, a desktop widget suite that has often linked to the recent widget craze.
I decided not to live blog the event as I have done in the past with conferences like Supernova and Syndicate but AOL colleague Stephanie Bergman and Liz Gannes of GigaOm did. While John Panzer was on the Blog Sidebar Widget panel representing AOL and blogged about it here. James Ward explained how Adobe's Flex could be used for some slick widgetry. The folks at Snipperoo also generated some live blogging coverage and ProgrammableWeb.com did a wrap-up. I took some photos that can be found here.
There were also number of companies that used Widget Live! as a launching pad for announcements:
- AOL launched a revamped development site at: dev.aol.com
- Fox launched Spring Widgets which combines web and desktop widget functionality into one product
- FeedBurner announced the partnership with Fox Interactive Media to help control the display of widgets in the Spring Widgets product
- NVIDIA acquired PortalPlayer
- Freewebs announced Mooglets a web widget dashboard
- Goowy unleashed yourminis a slick flash-based web dashboard
- Clearspring launched a revamped widget marketplace
- Netvibes founder and ceo Tariq Krim gave insight into the growth of the personal homepage and communicated plans at expand the site to be localized in60 countries
- The virtual chumby was introduced as the actual chumby (see what is a chumby?) has not yet been released for purchase
“ Om + Niall's Widgets conference was good today - potentially even more forward thinking than tomorrows Web 2.0 conference.”
If having a conference dedicated to widgets wasn't enough to highlight all that is widgety, Steve Rubel reports that the W3C has introduced a draft proposal for a new Widget standard. The most interesting section of the proposal is the Widget autodiscovery section which, similar to feed autodiscovery, enables a webpage to tell a browser and other applications if there is a widget associated with the page. I am glad to see the W3C taking a crack at standardizing widgets asking for input from the widget generating community.