This is very cool, and a little bit scary.

The portal that Microsoft is building now lets you write "Gadgets" that plug into the site. A couple of interesting things about gadgets:

  • You don't need to get your gadget approved for users to be able to use it. Anyone can write a gadget, put it on the web, and then anyone else can immediately add it to their page.
  • Gadgets have full access to the page content. A gadget could change the appearance of the page, for example, or work with the content of other gadgets.

Scott Isaacs gave a great talk on this, and he's clearly aware of the risks that this could pose, but on the other hand, users have to go through a 2 step process to get a new gadget on their page. Is this "at your own risk" security disclaimer adequate? It's not hard to imagine evil startlets, but the question is, is this really a problem?

Anyway, being able to essentially subclass another gadget is incredibly powerful. If you're using Internet Explorer, you can test your gadget on localhost before posting it to the web somewhere, and there's going to be an "Add this gadget to my" capability at some point. really is just a few folks at Microsoft doing some innovative stuff.

I want to take my site and create a gadget that will show the sites that it's time for me to check again on my page. The only reason I use Linky as my home page is for that one feature, so if I can move it over to a real portal, I'll be happy. Just need some time to work on it.