5. November 2008 19:38
Gadgets and widgets clearly have their place on the web, from personalised home pages to adornments for your blog. But I’ve not been convinced about putting them on your desktop.
Until last night, when I think I may have stumbled upon the killer app.
I’ve been fascinated with the American election, not in small part due to it’s uncanny similarity to the last series of the West Wing, and so followed a twitter link to MSNBC’s Vista Sidebar gadget.
And it’s brilliant. It’s a Flash app that updates itself every 2 minutes, AJAX style. It’s nicely interactive, showing results or deadlines for each state. It shows me the totals, who’s winning, the majority values and the current leading stories on the site.
In other words, it’s a rich internet application, showing me focussed, relevant and up-to-date information, in a very unobtrusive manner – always running, in the background. This is what I want for a desktop gadget.
It’s just a shame you can only use it for 12 hours every four years and (thanks to the wonder of time zones) I’m asleep for most of that time.