Newsweek asks if 2007 will be the year of the Widget.
If you sit in front of a computer at work, chances are there are certain Web sites that you monitor throughout the day, every dayto check e-mail, weather, stock portfolios or sports stats. But, thanks to widgets, taking multiple steps to track down headlines in one place and then check your e-mail in another may seem woefully outdated this time next year. These mini-applicationsalso called gadgetsare simple bits of code, easily dragged onto a desktop or pasted into a personal page, where they are constantly updated with whatever information you want. Its the exact opposite of what the Web used to be, explains Om Malik, a tech journalist and founding editor of gigaom.com. Last month Malik and Niall Kennedy, another tech blogger, organized and hosted Widgets Livean entire sold-out conference devoted to the topic (in, where else?, San Francisco). Widgets, he says, bring the Web to you. Think of it as tech jewelrybling for your blog; ice for your desktop.
If 2006 was all about social networks, user-generated content and YouTube, then its a fair bet that 2007 will be about further personalizing life online.