Live Widgets!

We’re here at Widgets Live, a conference co-hosted by Niall Kennedy and GigaOM, in San Francisco. A year ago, the rare time I heard the word “widgets” was usually in a business reporting scenario (“Say Company X wants to sell its widgets business to Company Y; when the sale is announced the stocks of the companies often…blah blah blah). Now, any company we talk to has a “widget strategy,” while some companies, such as Teqlo and Slide (both here today) are centered entirely on widgets.

But the widgets craze is still limited to a pretty small community. Last week I stopped by Photobucket in Palo Alto to visit Alex Welch and crew. They told me that over the course of one week, when they changed the name of a slideshow widget from “widgets” to “slideshows,” usage of the feature more than doubled in a week. On October 22, Photobucket users created 25,000 new “widgets.” A few days later, the name was changed, and on October 29, users created 51,000 new “slideshows.”

If the WiFi cooperates, I’ll be blogging the event all day over on our new reporters’ log (which has a separate RSS feed for those who’ve not yet subscribed). Viva la widget.