I am a rotten HTML coder, which is why I really like Widgetbox, a new utility (still in closed beta; it should open in mid-August) that makes it easy for a klutz like me to add functionality to a blog without having to touch code. Widgetbox's widgets currently include tools such as a Flickr photo strip, a Technorati tag tracker (see example below), and a location finder (it uses your IP address). The Widgetbox library is about 75 widgets strong right now. I think building Web sites from pieces and parts--widgets like these--is going to be a big part of the future of Web publishing.
Currently, Widgetbox widgets can be automatically placed onto blogs on several different platforms. In the future, you'll also be able to add widgets to social network pages such as MySpace and portal pages such as My Yahoo. If all else fails, you can also get a code snippet from the site to add a widget to you site manually (that's what I did yesterday for MeeboMe, for example, and how I integrated Widgetbox's Technorati widget below). CEO Ed Anuff told me that in the future, widgets will also work on your computer's desktop.
For widget publishers, it's also supposed to be a simple affair: You submit your widget to Widgetbox, which then handles all the integration into blogs and Web pages. Through advertising revenue shares, both widget developers and users can make money.
Some blog tools have widget capabilities already. TypePad, for example, has its own Widget Directory, and in fact, it offers more widgets than Widgetbox does right now (but Widgetbox is still in beta, as I said). Configuring widgets on Widgetbox is easier, though: All widgets are configured within the site, instead of on the widget creators' sites, as some of the TypePad widgets are. And, of course, with Widgetbox you can place your widgets on multiple sites, not just on TypePad blogs.
I hope more Web developers adopt this system, so klutzes like me can more easily take advantage of their work.