Widgets and Attention

Widgets are the new black and we have seen plenty of new widgets appearing on the scene in the last couple of months, if not days. Soon, most pages that are generated by users will have widgets somewhere. Why? Because they are convenient and they allow easy personalization. Netvibes UWA is one step into the right direction, allowing widgets to be placed where ever they fit, in theory.

Widgets distract and widgets get attention, because widgets standout from the rest of the content presented on the site. Furthermore, since a widget offers a special take on something, presented by the user, it gets the attention it deserves. In contrast to ads that are displayed, widgets offer much more, for instance context. Since the user chooses to display the widget in whatever way he likes, we can be sure that this is really something of importance, in contrast to some ad stuck in the sidebar.

Widgets are powerful and grab the attention of the user, as long as you don’t overdo it, like Fred Wilson, for instance. His blog serves more as a directory of cool widgets, but it’s hard to gauge which widget gets attention over at his blog. Nevertheless, in the attention economy, a widget plays a vital role. Although just a small piece of code and also small in size when displayed in the sidebar, the widget grabs the attention of the user.

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