Behavior, Content, Money – 3 Things you should never give away for free!!!

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How to build widgets following the W3C Widget specification

Posted by bcmoney on June 29, 2014 in Mobile, Web Services with No Comments

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English: an incon to indicate that there is a ...

Icon to indicate a widget. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post will be a quick & dirty step-by-step guide to building a Widget following the cross-platform W3C Widget specification. For starters I’ll list out the 7 primary W3C specifications on Widgets and 4 specs on their use with Mobile devices (roughly in order of significance):

Now unless you are supporting an instance of one of the legacy widget platforms/portals for your organization, or, have recently been put in charge of building a new “widget type platform” for your company, then I wouldn’t suggest you waste too much time going through all those specs. I’m intending to give you a quick overview here that will save you that pain and give you a sufficient familiarity to be functional with Widgets right away.

What is a Widget?

Whether you call it a widget, gadget, badge, module, capsule, snippet, framed window, representation, implementation, micro, mini, page flake or anything else; a Widget is a small web, mobile, or desktop application that brings information directly to you, so you don’t have to go somewhere else look for the information yourself.

Some widgets are helpful self-contained resources like clocks, calculators, or calendars. Some widgets are static and just display specific information that rarely if ever changes, like a “list of useful links” or some reminder text. Some widgets are more dynamic and let you write desktop post-it notes, convert media files, or see weather forecasts. Dynamic/Interactive widgets really do let you accomplish some incredible stuff, like let you automatically feed Dilbert comics in color straight to your Facebook wall or Instagram followers (or even just to your blog, personal web page, or even your desktop). Widgets can of course also pull data from external sources. Regardless of their type, all widgets are designed to be shared. You can easily send your favorite widgets to friends and co-workers with a single click and email, and anyone who sees a widget on your personal pages can download a version to customize for themselves. The following image from the original Widget 1.0 spec shows how this simplicity works behind the scenes, based on web standards:
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BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money

The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:

1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.

2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.

3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.

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