Wrap-Up from Widgets Live

As we unfold and unwind ourselves from being widgetized all day, we wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on GigaOM’s first conference, Widgets Live, a conference co-hosted by GigaOM and Niall Kennedy. The great thing is, no matter how many presentations you see of almost exactly the same product, widgets tend to be really, really pretty.

I jotted down some memorable quotes throughout the day:

Everyone, over and over again: “Keep it simple.”

Alex Russell, SitePen: “The more we respect the users’ ownership of what it is they’re consuming, the more we respect their attention, the better off we’re going to be.”

Sandy Jen, Meebo: “You don’t want to teach the user new behavior.”

Ivan Pope, Snipperoo (this guy was full of catchy quotes that seemed just a tiny bit beyond our grasp): “Widgets are the bumper stickers of the internet.” Fittingly, this came as a bumper sticker. And a t-shirt.

Michael Maia, PortalPlayer: “I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning to read I now work for Nvidia.” (approximate quote; didn’t write this one down.)

Lance Tokuda, RockYou: “30 to 40 percent of everyone who touches our site [set to surpass 10 million uniques in November] creates something on our site.”

Eric Lunt, FeedBurner: “The internet is a series of tubes, and feeds are sort of the trucks that drive through the tubes to the widgets.”

All in all, a good day, with a sold-out crowd (I only saw maybe 10 unclaimed name tags) and some fun announcements from companies like Fox Interactive, Clearspring, and Gigya. The one big hole was the absence of Apple, which Niall Kennedy explained was due to disclosure issues with the upcoming release of OS X. There were also some key discussion topics that came up more than once but didn’t get addressed all that conclusively: widget monetization, widget cooperation, and widget standardization. Food for thought…and maybe another conference?

This week’s San Francisco tech event venue tour continues tomorrow, with Om taking the morning shift at Web 2.0 and Liz the afternoon.

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