Few things keep us busy when we are looking around a blog, and absorbing the content. Usually we just want to read the information that we’ve come for, and then disappear back to Google to continue our hunt for information. The websites that actually interest us, the ones that we bookmark, and the ones that we sign up for updates for – they are the ones with the little gadgets, more often than not. Did you ever find yourself playing with the animated tag cloud on someone’s site? We all do. It is human nature to play with gadgets. Some are more functionally than others, and keep people very entertained.
Gadgets, gizmos and general eye-catching aspects of a site are very welcome to a reader’s eye, as long as you do not overdo it. Remember the rule of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!).
Two of my current favorites are listed below.
This neat little toolbar is very subtle, and not overpowering in ways that some toolbars are. You will notice on some sites, that a giant toolbar surfaces from the footer of the page, and obscures the text you are reading, and becomes very annoying. The Wibiya toolbar, which is free, can hold some pretty cool objects, that will link around your site, or externally. The option to search Google, YouTube and even tell people about features is included.
There are literally too many cool Facebook widgets to mention here, so I have linked the WidgetsLab.com site instead, as they have covered the best. The official Facebook widgets allow visitors to interact with both the site, and Facebook at the same time. This has a massive effect to the other visitors to the site, because research has now shown that they are much more likely to write a comment or at least share an opinion when they see the little Facebook social plugins. Facebook just seems to be much like Twitter, in that people just love to write there.
You can find much more cool widgets at the above site (WidgetsLab.com)