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June 22, 2007



There are a lot of potentially interesting business models that widget companies including yourminis are experimenting with...

Some are...

1. master affiliate and referral model - ie you act as the master affiliate in widgets that drive traffic / conversions / actions to a site like amazon, ebay, etc...

2. once in widget transactions are enabled widget companies will be able to take a percentage of the sale or charge a transaction fee to the vendor rather than the user...

3. sponsorships - you can charge companies to skin / wrap a widget with their brand or content...

4. super syndication - ability to be able to quickly distribute a widget for a brand that is time sensitive - ie movie premiere and charging for this super syndication...

There are a lot of other creative models that are all in early experimentation form - we will see which ones rise to the top.


Facebook does indeed allow the widget developers to show their own ads and keep all the money. This is what is so special about the Facebook plattform.

On MySpace, you were either taken over by News Corp., had to contract with them or had to charge your users for the service.

On Facebook, you can do whatever you want.

Roger Anderson

This is a great question. I keep seeing entrepreneurs who have these great ideas that they want to use to build traffic. Traffic can be a great thing if you have something else to offer. Look at the whole open-source template thing for websites with Joomla. It's an investment in your future. It's like entering an art contest. You give your work in the hope that if you win you will get paying gigs next.


I would suggest that you can re-frame your question on widgets to also include the immediate benefit that the business offering the widget gets from the placement and use of it by the right target audience v. CPC/CPM.

Along your original thought, widgets as a stand alone element can easily be relegated as primarily a brand-building exercise for content-only players. I'd agree that the footprint of a widget doesn't allow for much more than a text link ad (which does happen to have a market).

At PatentMonkey.com, we're making patent data access more accessible and portable (e.g. our patent pdf widget: www.freepatentwidget.com). Our goal is to offer an expanding amount of functionality that was only available by going to another site (=widget 101 stuff). We can showcase our ease of use with free access to content while trading for branding awareness + an option to engage more with our target user base along our larger strategy which extends beyond just patent search and content delivery.

In marketing terms, we can measure how much a widget is worth by comparing traditional CPC and ROMI costs with the traffic the widget offers. Monetizing the widget beyond those terms is gravy, kind of like asking why ads aren't being run on this blog. :)

Ryan Gahl

That is a very interesting story. I believe fully that the answer lies in a platform that is designed to reward the developers as much as the content owners and the distribution sites. Check out my blog post about this: http://www.someelement.com/2007/06/from-libraries-to-platforms.html


the superstar model work for the applications;
they become popular, someone notice it and buy it. http://mashable.com/2007/06/26/facebook-frenzy/

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