Seth Godin popoularized the concept of viral marketing in his book Unleashing the Ideavirus. The idea, summarized in the subtitle, was to “turn your ideas into epidemics by helping your customers do the marketing for you.”
The widget is the ideavirus incarnate. Widgets are defined by Wikipedia as “a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation.” They can deliver content or services to a user’s website usually with a simple one click install. For many sites – especially blogs – widgets have become accessory items.
Widgetbox, one of the leading purveyors of widgets, has now created something it calls the “blidget.” A blidget is essentially a blog encapsulated in a widget. It delivers posts from a blog directly to a user without the need to navigate to the site. For example, you can install a blidgt on your personalized Google home page and receive links to new posts there. The coolest thing about the blidget is that anyone with a blog can create one in just a few minutes – no programming required. Then you can provide a widget on your blog that lets visitors immediately install the Widget on their own site. Widgets can be easily shared by visitors with their audience.
For authors who are using a blog to book approach, this provides the opprotunity for some free viral marketing while they are creating the book’s content.