Today's BusinessWeek Technology home page has six (6) pieces (!) on Widgets and why they may or may not matter. After reading the articles and avoiding the podcast and videos I came away with one thing: video games still rule.
All of the successful widgets and widget makers profiled in BW get adoption and traffic because they are essentially very small video games. And people love video games. I myself wasted 20 minutes playing BurgerTime over on the Widgetbox website.
Case in point, this guy at Berkeley is the king of Facebook quizzes.
Between July and September, Nagpal created four more applications. But it wasn't until October that he developed his first personality quiz, named "How good a lover are you?" Within two weeks that application had gained more than 400,000 users. "As soon as I hit the personality quiz genre, things really exploded," he says.
Without offending BWs editorial goals (I know, I know, open source is boring) it seems inconceivable that their readership cares this much about widgets.
Perhaps I am missing the point. Maybe we need a Mule game to drive traffic? Do these things work for enterprise software?