We're entering an era of widgets. People have taken to building Web pages by piecing together chunks of functional code that come from all over. If you're interested in adding widgets to your pages, though, there are at the moment only a few good directors to grab them from. One of them is Widgetbox, which I've covered previously. And now there's Google, which has made it possible for widgets written for its own Google Desktop app to be installed in your own Web pages. Here's the current directory. See the news story.
I imagine it's just a matter of time until Yahoo figures out how to make its excellent Yahoo Widgets gizmos insertable into Web pages.
Be prepared for a lot of cluttered, widget-drunk Web pages. On the other hand, there are very good and reasonable uses for widgets on business sites: maps with traffic information, shipping cost calculators, store cams, live chat windows, and so on. Widgets can make Web pages both more useful and more cluttered. We're going to see both.
By way of show-and-tell, this is the Google moon phase widget: