It looks like our friends at PageFlakes just keep on coming up with cool stuff. The makers of the popular start page quietly rolled out the ability for users to export flakes (widgets), outside of their environment. Taking a widget is pretty easy. I have one on my sidebar now.
All you have to do is copy and paste a little HTML “snippet” into your page. Here’s how you get the snippet:
Step 1: Go to the Settings Area of the flake that you want to export and click “Get HTML” in the “Export” tab:
(If the flake is on a private page, you’ll be asked to make the page public or move the flake to a public page.)
Step 2: Copy the HTML snippet:
Step 3: Paste the HTML code wherever you want the flake to appear on your web page.
The catch is that these widgets do not work on most social networks. Also, they are bit funky because visitors can configure them while visiting your site.
Regardless, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Undoubtedly, this capability will become the norm as this space matures. Although this was pinned as just another feature release, the move should not be taken lightly. It has massive implications for the future of content aggregation platforms. Data and services are not meant to be bound to a single destination – they are meant to be free.
As a philosophical tangent, there is no other way this could happen. Pageflakes, and all portals for that matter, are aggregation points enabling people to effectively find, manage, and organize services. If a web services enable data and services to be reused across multiple portals, it only makes sense that widgets – the components encapsulating web services – should be open to users to mix and match across the web as well.
Kudos to the Pageflakes team! Rock. 🙂
p.s. My buddy Marc must be loving this…