New Media Vocabulary: Widget/Web Widget

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New Media Vocabulary: Widget

“In computing, a web widget is a software widget for the web. It’s a small application with limited functionality that can be installed and executed within a web page by an end user. A widget has the role of a transient or auxiliary application, meaning that it just occupies a portion of a webpage and does something useful with information fetched from other websites and displayed in place. Other terms used to describe web widgets include:[citation needed] portlet, web part, gadget, badge, module, webjit, capsule, snippet, mini and flake. Widgets are typically created in DHTML, JavaScript, or Adobe Flash.

Widgets often take the form of on-screen device (clocks, event countdowns, auction-tickers, stock market tickers, flight arrival information, daily weather etc.).” —

Widgets are an important part of any web site these days. Myself alone I use widgets of some sort on nearly any page of my blogs or web site. I use them to link to Amazon books, cookbooks from Cookbook Cafe, show off my Twitter follower, Facebook or Google+ follower numbers and much more. Widgets allow anyone, regardless of their prowess with HTML, include high-end (and very useful features) on their web sites without having to write their own programs.

YouTube videos which are embedded in blogs and web sites are another great use for a “widget.” Bloggers need only copy the provided code from YouTube and then paste that code into their pages or blog post.  These “embeds” allow the easy spreading of content while still rewarding the original content creator.

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