Spring Widgets

i am up at Widgets Live! today

Fox Interactive Media launched Spring Widgets today. By way of background, FIM is the parent company of Myspace and part of the larger Fox Media company (as you might have guessed) but they also have an interesting portfolio of gaming companies. With 120 million visitors each month they are clearly a major online media concern.

In the presentation there is one slide that offers a glimpse at why this widget movement is appealing to media properties, they effectively extend content delivery capabilities and offer the potential to tie together users across multiple media properties. The other announcement they are making today is a partnership with Feedburner to enable custom RSS clients based on the Spring Widgets platform, which is a good move considering that Feedburners entire business is focused on services to content publishers.

The technical guy is doing a demo and it’s pretty good. You can put a widget in their visual development tool and then upload it to a service, in this case myspace. This is very similar to sidebar widgets in blogs, as an example, but where they go a little farther is by enabling anyone to take the widget and drag it down to the desktop.

The widget development environment is delivered as an extension for Flash, which is pretty smart on their part because this is a very rich visual environment and is widely supported. I’m not a developer so I can’t speak to the specifics of the development tool other than to say that it seems well thought out and not complex. I will say that they get points for demoing the actual development of a widget (although I’m not really sure why they thought this would be good to demo like this).

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