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A blog full of gadgets

business Updated: Mar 18, 2007 13:21 IST

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Sounds clichéd but true. Now imagine, a person telling numerous people about himself through images. A tinge of mystery, some vibrancy in your personality and a great look to your blog. These might not appear connected but in the context of a blog, they do.

This whole gamut of images is your virtual DNA, a widget that appears on your blog and expresses your personality in pictures. First things first, a widget (or a web-gadget) is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation.

It adds some content to the web page that is not static. Generally widgets are designed by a third party, though they can be home-made too.

These days widgets are quite commonplace and frequently used by bloggers, social network users, auction sites and personal web page owners. They exist on home page sites such as Netvibes and Pageflakes. Widgets are used as a distribution method by ad networks such as Google’s AdSense, by media sites such as Flickr, by video sites such as YouTube and by hundreds of other organisations.

In short, a small add-on for your website, blog, MySpace, Facebook et al.

Usually when one creates a profile or a web diary on any of these sites, there is a standard template offered for its
design and look. This may or may not be in accordance with the user’s given traits and choices.

The template can be spiced up a little by adding widgets.

One can log onto www.widgetgallery.com and preview the diverse kinds of web gadgets on offer for free.

The better ones are available for a small fee. For esoteric options one can click www.snipperoo.com and www.widgetbox.com.

The most popular widgets include calendars, clocks, flash photo album (artistic or user’s own), tagboards, anime characters like the Einstein in MS Word and several others.

There is a widget meant for everyone.

Chatbox: A tagboard is a small chatbox that acts like a poster enabling a visitor to drop in a line. The website www.slide.com offers the flash presentation that adds ‘glitter’ to the blog.

Photo Albums: One of the most sought after widget is a collection of the user’s photographs. Either using Flickr or Slide, the user can create a flash album of his pictures and link the widget to the blog template. There is an option to draw one’s own photo-feature using images that he likes. And the spunkiest of them all is a VirtualDNA as mentioned above. Just log onto http://dna.imagini.net/friends and choose a picture from a set that speaks for one of your traits. Once all the pictures are selected, the HTML code can be copied in the template.

Music and Games: Using www.widgetbox .com, a user can uplink his favourite songs in a number of playlists that change everyday. Anyone viewing your page can listen to those songs. Now you can also take your XBox gamer card and upload your statistics if you are playing online. On offer for free are gaming and music websites that display the latest news, reviews and charts.

News: On the serious side, users can add custom buttons linking news websites. Plus, a widget like this can display the top
stories in brief. Sports fans can get news straight from the websites.

Miscellaneous: If one wishes to know where all the visitors to his blog are coming from, he can log onto www.clustermaps.com and link a world map that marks the visitor’s locations in red. For those with religious inclination, there is a daily pop up speaking the shlokas of Bhagavad Gita, a new one everyday that can be seen on www.google.com too.

One can also embed word games, trivia and daily accounts and timetable widgets.

The world of web is an enormous force that links one sitting in a posh office in Sydney to a health worker in Uganda.

These widgets are not just for the look, but help in spreading ideas, thoughts and news to anybody through a massive network.

If you are supporting UNAIDS and want others to know about it, then get the button from the www.unicef.com.

So getting a widget is easy and makes things easier too.

Don’t overlook the look and utility of widgets. And if you haven’t got one, it is time you do.