Product & Startup Builder

Will Widgets and RSS hit the mainstream?

Added on by Chris Saad.
Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 asks yet another interesting question on his blog.

"Will Widgets hit a Mainstream Wall just like RSS?"

From his post:

"But I was struck by how widgets, like RSS, are really more of a boon for online publishers than for average folks. Widgets, like RSS, are great for syndicating information, or in the case of widgets, also application functions. But for average users, they are only useful for aggregating on a start page, and really, how often do most people change their start pages?"

Widgets and Gadgets are names used interchangeably for stuff that you can put on your blog/myspace account and stuff you can put on your desktop.

In regard to the Desktop widgets, here's what I think of widgets.

In regard to RSS, our newly updated website sheds some light.

In the 'Got a Mom?" section, it says:

"[To hit the mainstream] RSS has to become brain dead simple to use." - Fred Wilson

Do your parents know how to find and subscribe to RSS feeds? Should they? Do they know how to read HTML? Of course not; they "browse the web". RSS needs to be that simple.

Touchstone makes RSS dead simple by taking the subscribing out of the equation. Get your mum to quickly and easily type in her interests into a little textbox and Touchstone does the rest.

Like Scott goes on to say in his post:

"Now, none of this means that widgets, like RSS, won’t revolutionize the world of web publishing (although I’m skeptical of Tariq Krim prediction that widgets will kill web pages) — it’s just that it will be transparent to the average web user."

He's exactly right.

Widgets, like RSS, are usually technical and always overwhelming in an information consumption sense. They are great for myspace bling, but to actually get productive information you need something far more intelligent.