January 18, 2007

on widgets and gadgets

The New York Times has an article widgets for blogs, in which it defines widget as "elements, often in the left or right columns of a blog, that enhance its usefulness or aesthetic appeal". I find that definition rather specific. The OED defines widget as "[a]n indefinite name for a gadget or mechanical contrivance, esp. a small manufactured item", documented as early as in 1931, and speculates that the word might be a variant of gadget, itself of obscure origin. "First known in use among seafaring men, and said by several correspondents to have been current 1870, ...but not found in print before 1886."

Looking for widgets beyond sitemeter? Widgetbox.com, a website whose mission is to "widgetize" the web (their word, not mine), gives you an overview. Let me go ahead and install blufr and The Daily Puppy right away.

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