Business Week examines whether widgets will be the next revolution:
In the Web world, widgets are modules of software that people can drag and drop onto the personal page of their social network or onto a blog. There, widgets typically look like a little window or box, packing a bit of the functionality that you would get with a stand-alone Web site or software package. The result can be as mundane as the WeatherBug, or a YouTube clip of your favorite video of a bulldog riding a skateboard, or your wish list from online jewelry retailer Blue Nile (NILE ).
But widgets also can be storefront windows for selling products and services or digital billoards to which customized ads can be affixed. Create one that plays your favorite song and it can send visitors through to Amazon.com (AMZN ) to buy the band's album. Random House Inc. has a widget that lets you click through to buy new book releases from the company's online store. You might even share a slice of the proceeds.