The State of Broken Widgets - The RSS Blog
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Sat, 29 Sep 2007 17:00:54 GMT
The State of Broken Widgets

I've been doing a lot of work with widgets of late. Much of it involves pushing widgets or providing embed code to social network sites like MySpace and Facebook. What I have found is that nothing actually works anymore. I remember when widgets first evolved on the MySpace platform, you could simply paste a bit of HTML into the editor and get a nice looking widget. Today, you need the MySpace widget rulebook to have any chance of pasting HTML onto a profile. I even tried very simple HTML with an anchor around an image and I wasn't able to get it to work. If you scan a few dozen profiles, then you'll find the most common widget is the angled bracket widget and the error widget.

myspace.widget.error2

myspace.widget.error

A lot of people have simply abandoned their MySpace profiles, which have gone from ugly looking profiles to ugly looking profiles with a lot of error messages and angled brackets. I even tried posting a widget to my own profile using the viral functionality of a very popular widget framework and simply couldn't get it to work.  The widget company insisted their stuff worked perfectly. I scratched my head to wonder how users without 20 years of computing experience get anything done on the Internet.

On the other hand, you have Facebook, which requires a PHD in flash widgets in order to do anything. Imagine the average user struggling to post a blogthing to their Facebook profile. Geeks simply don't understand usability. There must be something better than the mess we've created.

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Thanks for sharing.

Apartmani Grcka leto 2011
Type "339":
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