I was interested in Beth Gallaway’s talk on digital convergence. She defined it as everything talking to everything else—phone, browser, phone, and IM. Digital convergence happens because of widgets, which are small external applications inserted into web pages. Some examples are iGoogle, a personalized web portal; MeeboMe, which allows all IM accounts to talk to one another; and Twitter Badges.
Widgets are becoming popular because we are getting lazy—even a single click is one too many! And standards have been set for cross-platform communication. You don’t need to know any code to put a widget on your web page—if you can cut and paste, you can do it. It won’t be long before every web page has one or more widgets on it. There is a huge opportunity for using widgets for instant messaging between real and virtual worlds. One library has even set up a widget to allow people to pay library fines from their Second Life account using Second Life currency!
Columnist, Information Today and CIL 2008 Blog Coordinator