Once were widgets

Web 2.0 types eat and breath widgets – small applications that typically run on online social networks – but they soon may have to start talking about them in different terms.

Web 2.0 types eat and breath widgets – small applications that typically run on online social networks – but they soon may have to start talking about them in different terms.

According to CNet, widget developers are finding that the private equity and venture capital sorts that hold the purse strings to their start-up ventures either don’t understand or aren’t impressed by the concept of a widget.

The problem, apparently, is that the word widget brings with it connotations of the small and peripheral – not the sort of thing worth investing millions of dollars in.

As a consequence, the several developers have tossed the widget word out the window. The makers of two of the most high profile widgets, Slide and RockYou, have led the way – rather than widgets, they are now calling their products “social entertainment applications” and “social applications” respectively.

Another widget maker, Snap, now prefers the term “personal media application”.

“For the non-web-savvy, a widget company invokes negative images of a commodity product,” Snap chief executive Tom McGovern says.

“A web service is descriptive and people get it,” he says. “At the same time, it doesn’t sound, from an investor perspective, that you’re investing in something that’s shallow, and not indicative of the amount of time put into the technology.”

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