Widget Summit schedule complete

The Widget Summit schedule is now complete, and I am pretty happy with the results. My goal for the conference is to provide two days of intensive education about the current state of the widget industry and share best practices with the many new publishers entering the space. This year’s conference spans two days, October 15-16, covering both the business and implementation of widgets. I will share some of my speaker notes before the conference, but first let’s take a look at some of the overarching themes of Widget Summit.

I’ve invited the key people behind the platforms to share their first-hand expert knowledge and answer detailed question. You’ll hear from the creator of the Facebook Platform, Dave Fetterman, instead of a vision talk or summary from Mark Zuckerberg. I’m sure Mark might sell more tickets, but you can read the history of Facebook in your favorite business press.

Mobile

We’ll have the heads of third party widget development for both Nokia S60 and Apple iPhone on stage talking about new ways developers can create rich applications for smartphones. Yes, Apple does have a small team dedicated to independent software developers on the iPhone.

We’ll also have University of Maryland professor Ben Bederson sharing his many years of experience designing for mobile displays and interfaces.

Monetization

Publishers are pretty familiar with measurement and monetization of traffic on their own websites, but widgets are still a source of confusion. Traditional web measurement tools such as Google Analytics have extended their reach into widgets. We’ve also seen new widget-specific entrants such as Clearspring and Gigya wrap widgets in a proprietary container for new forms of measurement. All three companies will present during the Widget Measurement panel at Widget Summit.

Once you have measured your widget audience, how do you monetize? Traditional advertising solutions such as DoubleClick have extended their reach to power in-widget advertising. VP of Rich Media Ari Paparo will share the latest ways big companies are experimenting with widget advertising. We will also have some of the largest widget-specific advertising networks on stage, virtual currency site Peanut Labs and widget promotion network RockYou. The Widget Advertising panel will present widgets as a new revenue source for content syndication.

Implementation

It’s not enough to simply talk about building a Facebook application or a Dashboard widget. Publishers want to know how much work is involved, the skills needed to create widget content for each platform, and the features necessary to make sure their investment in time and money is ultimately successful. We’ll have sessions at Widget Summit that walk you through the steps needed to create an application on Facebook, a sidebar widget for Windows Vista, or a JavaScript widget for blog sidebars.

If a widget book existed it would likely be out of date at the time of printing. The best way to learn about the latest technologies and implementations is to directly engage the creators of the widget platform and the people creating new widget content every day. They will help you avoid common mistakes, expose a few short cuts, and make sure you don’t make some of the most common mistakes.

Summary

Widget Summit is just over a week away and should provide an in-depth education for anyone considering a widget strategy or deeper syndication involvement. The schedule is now complete, with some of the best available speakers in their subject areas sharing their expert knowledge on stage. Each speaker is directly involved in widgets at his or her company, and uniquely positioned to answer in-depth questions either on-stage or in the audience.

Tickets are still available if you would like to join us for two days of widget education and networking.

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