Google Gadgets Now Everywhere

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Google Gadgets, which made its debut back in May, allows developers to build an application or mashup that run on Google’s co-existing products Personalized Hompage (IG), Desktop, and Pages. From today they’re also coming to a blog or webpage near you: every Gadget created can now be obtained in JavaScript form and run on any webpage, blog, or ‘thing’ that accepts it (unfortunately this excludes most of the major social networks, including MySpace).

If you think about it, there’s isn’t anything for Google here. Say you want to integrate Pacman or a simple calculator into your webpage, all you’re doing is using Google as a middle-man. The developer who made the Gadget obviously chose to do so seeing the ease and flexibility of Google’s system, and now you’re choosing to use the Pacman or Calculator on Google’s platform page rather than say obtain a simple Javascript app from HotScripts.com which does it. I think Google basically wants to be in the center of mashups, and having started this whole craze and developed a robust and powerful platform, they do deserve to.

Since this is an open-to-all system where Google plans to merely be the platform or the middle-man, one thing that did come in my mind is a business model. FeedBurner has a similar system called ‘FeedFlares’ which are simple XML files that FeedBurner users can choose to integrate at the bottom of each post in their RSS feed or their blog. There are hundreds of different kinds of FeedFlares now, and if you’re a user, you’ll notice some even have a revenue stream. In the case of the ‘Digg Counts’ FeedFlare, if it is clicked on over a certain amount of times it asks the site owner (or the person who clicked on it) to subscribe to the FeedFlare for the domain for a tiny $1.99 per month. Could such implementations be possible with Google Gadgets?

In conclusion, what I’ve loved about Google is that they’ve been a great contender in opening up and letting everyone build upon them. Starting from the Google Search SOAP APIs they launched way back in 2003, if there’s a need for an API for a Google product gives it already exists. All this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, and as Google continues to lead, others will follow.

[tags]Google APIs, Google Gadgets, Google IG, Google Desktop, Google Pages[/tags]


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