I attended the Widget Summit in San Francisco a couple of week's ago. So much has happened since then. The Rockies clinched the ALCS only to be swept by Boston in the World Series. Facebook received a huge investment from Microsoft for a very small percentage of the company. Halloween has come and gone. And the weather has turned noticeably colder in Boulder. Widgets have certainly not gone cold however.
The conference was very well attended and there were many good presentations on creating viral growth, what works and what doesn't, how to monetize (and how hard that is), widget platforms and best development practices for some of those platforms. Mobile is one of those platforms and I think often overlooked in the face of the big social media platforms (pun intended). According to Nokia mobile has a current subscriber base of 3 BILLION and will have 4 BILLION subscribers by 2010. The logical conclusion to all of this is a personal web app that incorporates all of your social media interaction, your mobile platform, your blog, news, weather, travel, email, calendar, favorite blogs, twitters, ... in short, everything you interact with daily. Someone will deliver this application framework. Facebook gets pretty far down this road but doesn't really integrate mobile well. The rest will be accomplished with widgets.
And since Facebook is all the rage I thought I would pass on a few tidbits from the Lead Developer of Slide. Slide is the creator of some of the most popular widgets on Facebook with about 1 of 4 Facebook profiles containing one of their widgets, including slideshow, funpix, guestbook, and skinflix.
"get an app out there. if taking more than 3 days then you're over thinking it"
"don't take things so seriously"
"your content is not interesting unless it is interesting to your friend"
"News feed is one of the most viral apps"
"Not good support for monetization at this point, really up to you to get ads in your app"
"Focus on engagement"