Archive for February, 2009

Whats missing from Google Friend Connect

February 25th, 2009

Update: Thanks to Kevin for commenting and helping me to understand Google Friend Connect a bit better.
Sorry for my mini rant. I guess what happened is I clicked on 5 or 6 different avatars in the widget and each one happened to be from someone that never filled out their profile. There were no links to anything other than WidgetsLab. Seeing nothing, I wrongly assumed that I needed to “Friend” them to see their info.
Are there sites where you have to become friends without seeing anything about the person beforehand?

The “Connect” seems to be missing.

google-sm.gifYes I can “invite” or “request” to be added as a “Friend” but I can’t simply click on a user’s avatar and go directly to their site. (or even a bio with a link to their site)

Now I understand the SPAM potential here…but if I discover SPAM I could simply block that “Friend” and move on. As it stands, I have no idea what each person is blogging or writing or even Stumbling about.

I have to become a “Friend” to someone I know absolutely nothing about (except what picture they chose for an avatar)

Thats it!


I want everyone to submit a pic ( a link in the comments will be perfect) of one Avatar that they are curious about, I’ll use my intuitive skills to determine what type of “friend ” this entity will be and I will publish the results right in this post!

I say that if Google wants a successful social network…they need to work on the basics and worry about integrating YouTube later.

How to build a widget – Promoting the widget

February 25th, 2009

[Part 5 in a 5 part series titled “How to build a widget]

The widget is ready.  It is sitting on your website with a viral deployment scheme.  But the big question is  “How do people find out about your widget”?

5) Promoting the widget

If you happen to be Amazon and your main website is generating tens of thousands of hits a day, a simple graphic/link on your main page to your widget would be enough.  But everybody’s website does not generate thousands of page requests a day.

Widget Galleries.

I mentioned before (Part 4) that there are widget galleries.  Galleries are always a good place to promote your widget. However,  unless you have a run-away-hit, you are never going get more then 100+ widget installs from a simple Gallery site.

Get Creative.

The best way to promote you new widget (If you are not already getting thousands of hits on your own site) is to get some one who is receiving thousands of hits to install/and or write about it.

This blog, Widgets lab, writes about widgets every day.  They also get a couple thousand hits every day.   Write a nice email to Derek or Avatar explaining why your widget should be profiled, and they may just write about it. 

Other places to get your widget mentioned would be Web 2.0 tech blogs such as,,  or even a general tech blog like

These sites reach millions of users everyday and are good place to jump start your widget.  You may have to offer to do Pete Cashmore’s laundry for a week or buy CmdrTaco a Starbucks gift card, but just maybe they will give your widget a write up it deserves.

So if you made it this far in the series you are on your way to creating your own little piece on the web,  your very own widget.  Good luck.  See you on the other side.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Dijit: Create Your Promo Widgets, Have Them For Free

February 24th, 2009


Dijit is a free promo widget creation service that used a visual widget designer/creator. if you are suddenly thinking “Like Sprout?” is because it is exactly that. you create your promo widgets, add your media, customize it as you see fit and off you go.


The difference is that dijit is free and Sprout is no longer free. sprout was and continues to have the best Widget Editor Creator but given their unfortunately decision to no longer offer free account which is of course a mistake. but that is Dijit gain and if you wanted a Sprout alternative, Dijit is that very alternative.


I used the Widget builder and it could not be more easier and it gives out good results. as i said. don’t expect it to be a fully developed as Sprout but it does the job and i think it makes for a good replacement given the options out there.

Build Your Dijit Widget


Widgets Lab Is OK

February 24th, 2009

I have received some concerned enquires asking about Widgets Lab. i wanted to take a minute to answer them.

While me and Derek love Widgets Lab and it’s readers. unfortunately is not our day job and we both got quite swamped with work. in my case i got some offers of hired work among other things. this of course affected my performance. i apologize and to those dozen that sent in submissions. i did got them and they will show up here in Widgets Labs as soon as possible.

But even with our brief absence and spare input. the blog has managed to continue to grow albeit a little slower. so we thank you for it.. some of you even caught my testing of the new template and this change will happen soon in order to finally upgrade the blog  to a new look.

So the blog now will resume to a steady schedule if all goes well as well with the new blog changes.

That is all.  Thank You

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