Creating Google Gadgets

Google  gadgets  are small modules of functionality (e.g. a clock, a game, etc.) that can be added to Blogger blogs, Google’s personalized iGoogle pages, and other places on the web. You can even add them to your own website. Most users of Blogger are familiar with at least three of these objects. The default list of Blogger templates automatically come with Followers, Blog Archive, and About Me  gadgets  installed. The Followers  gadget  allows people to connect themselves to blogs by signing on as followers. The Blog Archive  gadget  displays old blog posts. The About Me  gadget  displays a blogger’s profile Network Posting.

There are hundreds of thousands of  gadgets  that have been developed and made publicly available. Google has a directory of  gadgets  that can be added to your Blogger site or to a website hosted outside of Blogger. It’s obvious that Google promotes the development of new  gadgets . They have even developed an extensive programming interface to allow independent web developers to tap in to their system.

What is a Google  Gadget ?

Google  gadgets  are made up ultimately of an XML file, which gives instructions to Google regarding the configuration of your  gadget . To submit a  gadget  to Google, you simply enter the URL of the location where your  gadget  XML file exists and click submit. Google finds your  gadget , verifies that it works correctly, and then adds your  gadget  to its database so that it can be presented to millions of  gadget  users across the Internet.

 

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 Gadgets  can be as simple as a line of text, as in the following “Hello, world” example:

 

On the other hand,  gadgets  can be complicated pieces of JavaScript code that run Flash applications and interact with databases. The complexity of your  gadget  determines to some extent its usefulness. Depending upon your intentions for developing a  gadget , you may need to improve your JavaScript, Flash, and other programming skills. If you create an appealing  gadget  and submit it to be included in Google’s directory, it could mean a lot of traffic for your website.

Google publishes a fair amount of technical information to help  gadget  developers. You can read more information about developing  gadgets  at Google’s  gadget  page: http://code.google.com/apis/ gadgets /