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A “widget” is a program that runs inside a browser or on a user’s desktop (such as when running Google Desktop) that provides extra functionality for the user. Widget creation is a hot trend in online marketing these days. They are generally written in JavaScript, although other languages can be used as well. The advantage of a widget is that, if you can get your prospective customers to install it, it provides you with a way to keep your marketing message in front of your prospects. And as you know, repeated exposure to a marketing message is key to its success.

Widgets created for Google Desktop are called gadgets. But the concept is the same. Google provides an API for creating gadgets, which can be found at the following web address: http://www.google.com/apis/gadgets/docs-home.html.

For example, let’s say you sell New York Yankees merchandise. You could create a widget that showed updated news headlines related to the Yankees. A Yankees fan could place the widget in his browser or on his desktop that would constantly feed him Yankees news, along with marketing messages to buy Yankees merchandise. Or maybe the widget would constantly display new listings on eBay for Yankees merchandise, which would be very useful for a collector.

If you lack the knowledge or internal skills to code widgets, you might try hiring a third party contractor. You could create an account on eLance.com and post details of what you are wanting to do. Chances are excellent you could find a developer who will do the work for a very affordable rate.

A mashup is something that combines content or functionality from different sources, such as a web site that contains pieces of other web sites. Microsoft has a very interesting web site called PopFly.com that lets you drag and drop functionality from different web sites to create mashups without any coding. For example, while trying it out, we combined a Microsoft Live image search with some kind of image rotater. The merged product was a screen that showed images pulled from Live.com rotating in a circle. We’re not sure how useful this particular mashup is, but it was fun to create.

Widgets and mashups are definitely a hot trend in marketing, and they can help get your marketing message distributed and repeated to your target market in a way that they find entertaining or useful, which will make it easier for your message to soak in.

If you could use some guidance
using widgets or mashups to promote your business, contact Work Media at 888-299-4837 or email Info@WorkMedia.net.