Widgets Not So Hot

Bob Garfield gushing about widgets in AdAge (cached reprint) last December: "[...] the widget is something like the magical connection between marketers and consumers, not only replacing the one-way messaging long dominated by media advertising but vastly outperforming it. Because online the link is literal and direct, and along its path, data of behavior, preference and intention are left at every step. Oh, and your target consumers actually go out searching for your branded gimcrack. Oh, and they display it within easy reach. Oh, and [...]"

WSJ today: "A year ago, investors thought of these start-up companies primarily as application, or widget, makers, referring to games and other applications for social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Some of the most-hyped businesses on the Web a year ago were such companies. Backed by venture-capital dollars, these companies had grand plans to capitalize on their popularity among Web users by selling ads. They opened New York offices, hired ad-sales executives and hosted hip widget conferences to evangelize the new media to marketers. Turns out, it wasn't such a good idea, particularly during a recession. Now, many of these companies, such as Slide, are searching for more and different ways to earn money."