February 23, 2009

Another note to myself to check out iWidgets.

Apparently this is a “PowerPoint-like” widget builder that takes strong design cues from Yahoo! Pipes.

Joining with the Web 2.0 “go-meta” business model , iWidgets provides a service that lets you build widgets once and deploy them to various popular widget APIs and platforms.

Peter Yared (CEO of iWidgets) says:

I wrote the initial builder in [another framework] and found it obtuse. After spending literally a week trying to turn the date picker into a color picker, I threw in the towel. A friend of mine turned me on to jQuery and I fell in love with how clean and fast it was, the way it separates the HTML from JavaScript is beautiful. So I rewrote the builder we had at the time in jQuery in a two week coding session! Soon after that I got funding from Opus Capital, and when I looked to hire people, I found 3 out of 4 of our engineers through the jQuery mailing list. It’s funny how things like that work out; I ended up finding total rockstars because they were playing with a cool new library.

Convio has had Convio Widgets and Personal Outreach Pages for a while now, but today they announced their Convio Personal Events,

“… a comprehensive online application designed to help individual supporters or members of nonprofit organizations, associations, institutions of higher education or faith-based organizations host and market personal events around a cause, theme or campaign…”

When the big names start getting into widget fundraising and personal events we are starting to look at a massive movement towards decentralizing the organizational website. Instead of having a single ‘official’ landing page, Convio is driving the trend towards having hundreds of smaller widgets – a kind of the best people to raise money/awareness are your donors, so lets give them the tools to do it philosophy. I predict that this type of decentralization is going to be the trend that drives fundraising and philanthropy into the next stage.

By seeing each constituent as a node in a network rather than a part of an organization, group fundraising helps you tap the knowledge, enthusiasm, and the peer network of people already giving to your cause. Its the wisdom of individuals in a crowd, applied to outreach.