Widgets, Badges, and Gadgets, Oh My!

With the creation of social media came a whole new set of vocabulary words to describe what we see happening on Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools on a daily basis. Talk about social media optimization (SEO), klout scores and algorithms can get confusing. For that reason, in this post, I am going to shed some light on two concepts: widgets and badges.

Image Credit: “Snow Accumulation on the Dashboard Weather Widget” by Teo

According to Hubspot Blog, “a widget is an element of a graphical user interface that displays an information arrangement changeable by the user, such as a window or text box.” Widgets are often times confused with gadgets. Webopedia reports that there are three types of widgets: web, desktop and mobile. Web widgets are designed for websites and blogs. They include clocks, calendars, headlines, etc. Desktop widgets are self-explanatory– they are designed to run on your desktop. Mobile widgets are smaller versions of desktop widgets that are designed to run on your mobile phone instead of your computer.

According to The Social Media Guide, a badge is “an image, usually squared and displayed on a blog, which signifies the blogger’s participation in an event, contest, or social movement.” First Page Sage adds that “individuals can…use the badge to place a link back to their site for other users and followers. Badges can also be seen as tiny, thin bars that advertise a particular social bookmarking service.”

One organization I am involved in, the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), can use widgets on their site to make it easy for users to look at dates, search the site and keep up with the organization’s tweets. The Dick Pope/Polk County FPRA Chapter can use badges to advertise their upcoming Carillon Classic 5K Run & Walk, as well as link to their social media sites and the state chapter’s website.

What are some of your favorite widgets and badges? How are you using them on your site or blog? What new widgets would you like to see created? I would love to hear what you have to say.


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