Widgety Goodness

December 6, 2007

Here at Widgety Goodness today, in case you don’t know what that is it’s a conference in Brighton UK all about (you guessed it) widgets.

For me it’s a chance to understand more about a technology I’ve been familiar with for a year or so now and to try to get my head round the benefits to our brand and return good ROI with them.

Anyway, highlights so far:

The first speaker couldn’t make it, bad news sometimes but luckily Susan Mernit (Yahoo) left a video message. Take out from her talk was that widgets are all about the user and there was a great quote that ‘we are the operating system’, something that is becoming increasingly evident.

Up next was Chris Cunningham of Freewebs. These guys interest me a lot as they specialise in custom, branded widgets which is just what I’m after. He said that success in widgets is much more elusive, less formulaic and algorithmic in nature. Tell me about it, we’ve been battling with finding the right reason to jump on board, another reason for coming today. He says that custom widgets have the most brand advocacy of any online ad format and offered three rules: add value/utility; be contagious and make it a personal experience. All key points for us as we have a brand to protect and only want to enter this space of we can engage our customers (and potential customers).

Next up was Russell Davies. A hugely interesting guy and highly knowledgeable in his space. Interesting to hear someone from a more traditional marketing background discuss widgets. Main take out from him was that marketing is changing, mainly brought about by the move to digital platforms. He says ‘awareness’ is old school; what’s new school, well it’s all about attention, engagement, permission and response.

Great conference so far. Looking forward to some of the later speakers very much. More later.

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