A quick note on two promising widget related releases.
They're Beautiful (They Are!)
The first is the well covered flower widget from They're Beautiful/Jackson Fish Market. The application lets users send a bouquet of flowers to someone via email. The flower designs are striking and each arrangement in one of a kind. However, once you have some flowers you need to water them otherwise they will wilt. Simple, compelling, the interactive functionality missing from the Windorphin fun... and most widgets for that matter.
The second part of the service is the widget itself. It simply let's me show off my flowers on a page. This widget reinforces the interactive nature of the flowers. Now that they are on public display I have a greater incentive to keep them looking great by "watering" them. Simple, compelling... uh, Beautiful anyone?.
Excellent execution of an idea that has much more potential. I am curious to see where they can take this.
Here is the widget:
The second item is Cogheads announcement of Coglets. Users can now embed Coghead apps in a page. While not providing the most compelling front end, Coglets are one example of a back end data service that can drive a widget by providing state and interactivity. The video demo is stale, but the idea is compelling. The service is fee based.
There are several example sites, including a presidential race tracking site. This example was incredibly slow when loading the application from Coghead. I assume they are getting a lot of traffic this morning... right? At any rate, the examples I looked at were based on creating a full website with embedded functionality, but the exact same model can be applied to a smaller form factor, like a widget.
Again, a lot of potential, looking forward to seeing what adventures users are taken on with this technology.