So how are these "portable chunks of the web" making their mark? What are they providing that there was an untapped need for prior to their introduction into our lexicon? Perhaps I can sum it up quickly with some solid points of interest...
Firstly, are indeed VERY portable, and while you can have code generated for them so that they are optimized for a variety of environments, they can be dumped most any place on the web.
Next, they have the flexibility to address many major uses for a mini app currently on the web. From the media player that features the latest from your artist of choice to RSS search widgets that deliver the latest news, podcasts and video submissions.
Let's not forget that they are providing developers with a multitude of outlets for their output, and in fact there are many places where it is encouraged. Seeing "Submit your widget" on a developer's portal is becoming more and more common.
These are some of the things we'll be looking at and discussing when I present the Dow Jones webinar "Widgets: Internet Sushi for the Web 2.0 Crowd" Register today. It'll be a blast.
Catch you soon!