Leveraging New Opportunities from the Use of Web Widgets in Online Web 2.0 Environments

Hynes, Michael
January 2010
Journal of Internet Business;2010, Issue 8, p109
Academic Journal
Over the past two decades the world has experienced a phenomenal rise in popularity of new Internet technologies in the shape of innovative software, applications and services. Online social networking websites, blogging, Wikis and multimedia sharing have all become the mainstay of what we now describe as the World Wide Web, and all have the common function of allowing end-users customise and share information with others online. The old ways of understanding the Internet - one where content was in the hands of the few - is quickly fading into memory. People now build their personal profiles and share information with friends using freely available, easy-to-use social software on available platforms. With Internet activity rapidly evolving organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to remain successful doing business the old way. The traditional methods of reaching audiences have broken down and become critically fragmented. Business can no longer simply interrupt the dialogue occurring online with their message they must somehow become part of the discourse. Into this environment steps the web widget. Widgets are short software programs that display content in small screen format. At present they are largely seen as fun objects but with their ability to be virally syndicated across the network, and elsewhere, any message associated with the application will stealthy find its way into people's private online space. This paper endeavours to demonstrate the advertising and marketing potential from the use of web widgets, particularly given modern web operating environments, by using an innovative methodology. The research sets out to reinforce the belief that online social networking, the main delivery vehicle for widgets, is a popular and growing mode of modern communication and, widgets are easy to use and virally distributed to a number of diverse platforms. In addition, the paper investigates how people interact with these applications in a very practical manner, to further expand upon current understanding of the World Wide Web in these new emerging and challenging online environments.


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