Steve Rubel, the blogger at Micropersuasion
, has an article
in Ad Age
today that talks about the trend towards bite-sized nuggets of information and bite-sized applications. He says the web is "increasingly becoming decentralized" and marketers and web publishers need to make use of this trend. If you have been witnessing the explosion of widgets and microblogging tools you are no doubt already aware of this trend. In the article Rubel tells marketers to make everything portable.
Make everything portable. The next version of the Macintosh operating system, due out in October, has a small feature called Web Clip that turns any part of a site into a widget that lives on the consumer's desktop. This is a big sign of things to come.
In the very near future portals including iGoogle, My Yahoo and Netvibes as well as social networks will be able to easily inhale the smallest pieces of content from across the web. Don't wait. Start now to make everything on your website embeddable. Traffic is becoming something that happens elsewhere, not just on your site.
Apple's Web Clip feature sounds fine providing they have the publisher's permission to snag anything it wants from a publisher's website. Rubel is right about the current trend. Marketers and publishers that don't take advantage of widgets and RSS technologies may eventually be ignored by web users actively using tools like NetVibes
. It's the old "get on board or get left behind" thing happening on the Internet once again. This doesn't mean that content producers necessarily have to come up with their own widgets. A lot of the current applications (and future applications) make great use of RSS feeds so just publishing an RSS feed will make your site's content available to users. Another example is that publishers creating video content can use YouTube or other video sharing technologies that make it easy for people to embed their videos. There are a lot of great tools out there that publishers can take advantage of.