Widget Removal – Which Ones Made The Cut?

Thanks for all the comments/votes on my Widget Removal post.

At 54 comments, it may be the most commented on post in the history of this blog.

As many of you commented, the widgets that run on this blog should be my choice and nobody else’s.

I agree, but I also realize that many of them have been running for a while and may have gotten stale.

What I really need to do is put in a widget service that will cache, serve, and rotate all my widgets. I know that Sniperoo does something like that. I am sure there are others. Please leave a comment to this post if you have a service that does this. I may someday get around to implementing that.

But at this point, I am still doing all of this manually. And this morning I manually removed a bunch of widgets and moved some around too.

I am not going to list all the widgets that got cut. I don’t want to offend anyone.

I will list the ones that made the cut and why.

First, here is the "off limits" list that I provided in my initial widget removal post.

1) In Heavy Rotation – Sonos sponsors this widget which generates money to charity. It stays.
2) Ads – They aren’t technically widgets, but they generate money to charity. They stay.
3)
Portfolio company widgets; Sitepal, Etsy, Indeed, and Delicious (for
old times sake). My portfolio companies are how I make money. They stay.

There were two widgets that are extremely popular and got mentioned by a bunch of commenters.

4) MyBlogLog – my personal favorite widget. Sure wish it was a USV portfolio company but that’s a story for another day.
5) Flickr – the audience’s favorite. and the grandaddy of widgets. and still one of the best.

And these got enough votes to keep them:

6) Wallstrip – Howard and crew are working on a better Wallstrip widget and it’s needed according to some of the comments.
7) The Music Widgets – I kept only last.fm and Streampad. More on this later.

And I kept the House Ads. They are my ads. They stay.

Everything else either became a link or is gone. Honestly I don’t notice the difference. The blog page is still butt ugly (or shabby chic depending on your taste). And I don’t think it loads any faster.

The only widgets I really miss are the music widgets. But I don’t want to have ten music widgets. What I want is one music widget that I can program to go fetch data on the various music services I use and present it in one place. When is someone going to build that?

I hope you all found this useful. I certainly did. There are a few big takeaways for me. First, widgets are loved and hated. Purists like Nick think that they violate the purity of the page. And Nick is clearly not alone in that camp. Others think they provide needed social/emotional/informational context. That’s the camp I am in.

Also, there are problems with the way widgets have been implemented to date. We need infrastructure to manage them. That starts with caching, serving, rotating, etc. And I am sure there is a lot more that can and will be done to improve widgets.

But one thing is for sure. Widgets are here to stay. This blog is proof of that. There’s no way I would remove all of my widgets. And more are on the way.