According to The Social Media Survival Guide, widgets are snippets of code, which are usually displayed with a graphic in order to syndicate content. Examples of widgets can be RSS feeds, or interactive features added to blogs or websites. Widgets can be customized by the user and offer ways for users to pull information from the widgets original site (p. 248).
Widgets can come in different styles as well as levels of complexity. They can be used to direct readers to other sources on a different site, or they can be used as a mini search engine on your site. These are typically easy to set up.
Widgets are a great way to highlight your personal social web presence. Listed below are some social media sights that you can use widgets within:
Facebook ‘like’ box
A badge is typically just an icon or logo that has a link back to its source. It serves as a way of displaying one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web.
Widgets as well as badges are a great way for companies to grow and expand the social media aspect of their website. Right now, I am researching a lot of different adoption agencies and organizations that raise awareness about adoption. Widgets in particular have been a great resource for me during this process of trying to gain more knowledge about specific information, because I am able to see their information in the form of Twitter, and Facebook.
It is so simple to click the widget for twitter and then, boom; you are following that particular organization. This has been a phenomenal advancement for companies and it demonstrates that they are active in other areas of the web and not just on their own website.
One organization that I have been following is All God’s Children International (AGCI). Though they have widgets at the bottom of the screen, I think that it could be easily overlooked because of its location. Also, they have a link to their Twitter feed, but they are not very consistent in their tweeting, so this keeps that particular widget from being as effective.
I think that widgets can be a great thing and can direct readers to other important aspects and information regarding your company. It is just important that they places you are linking readers to, are active sites.