Web2Summit: The New Web, Gaining Quietly

Google’s Jeff Huber gave a 10-minute talk today on widgets—apparently referred to as “gadgets” in Mountain View. His presentation, following Niall Kennedy’s on the same theme, wasn’t flashy, and even if you were in the room, you might have missed the fact that widgets represent a potentially game-changing trend.

Because widgets are most often embedded seamlessly on Websites, you might not even be aware that you’ve seen or used them. Huber noted that since January 2006, developers have created 20,000 widgets on Google platforms alone, deployed across 100,000 sites, serving billions of data chunks weekly. Their relative invisibility, however, belies their importance.

We’ve blogged about this before, and we’ll probably write about it a whole lot more in the next year or two: as the Web becomes the world’s operating system, applications and content will increasingly break free of the browser. Look for (and create!) new forms, new combinations and new contexts for delivering and collecting information.

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  • I was originally tempted to say that content will increasingly break free of Web pages. But because we already have desktop widgets that run off the Web, and apps like iTunes that do, too, I went with the sentence you quoted above. Either way, I agree with you that there’s little interesting in a one-way channel. But I don’t see how widgets suggest such a dynamic.

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