RonAmok!

The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.
Jul 19, 2008

Yesterday, I got a call from Christy Simmons, an intern at Widgenie, asking me to take a look at a new data-display widget service. Since I’ve been contemplating a series on measurement, her timing was impeccable, so I checked it out.

Below is my first chart created using Widgenie. Data entry is as simple as uploading an Excel spreadsheet or a CSV file — the short training video is all I needed to get started.

I had a problem importing the data from an Excel 97-2004 formatted XLS file (created from three different sources (Open Office, Google Docs, and Excel 2008), but the native Excel 2008 and CSV files worked as advertised. Since the service is still beta (and free!), I’m willing to give ’em a pass on this little annoyance. I used a CSV file exported from Open Office 2.4 to create this chart.


Embedding the chart into my blog was as simple as cutting and pasting some javascript — which opens up some interesting possibilities for content creators.

For example, lets say that you want to publish data that changes from week-to-week. Instead of creating a new chart every week, you simply update your spreadsheet and upload it to Widgenie, overwriting the old one. Since the widget is tied directly to the file on the Widgenie server, the data will always be up-to-date, rippling through to wherever the widget is embedded. I see this as an advantage for companies wanting to maintain live customized dashboards of all sorts of data.

Lastly, Widgenie also gathers stats. Since the widget is both embeddable and sharable, these stats will help you monitor where your data is traveling to and what sorts of traffic it generates. I’ll let you know how this is working for me over the next few months.

So far I like what I see, and this New Media Evangelist plans on using Widgenie to share and analyze data.

Update: I just noticed that the chart is not displayed in Google Reader. This is a little disappointing but hopefully Widgenie will figure out a way to make this happen.

Tags:

Filed under: Measurement

Comments

Another thing that I’d like to see Widgenie improve is the functionality of the “grab me” button. Would be great to see this as an integrated overlay for embed, link, etc. (a la YouTube) instead of clicking to open a new window and choosing from a menu of options on a web page. Definitely some potential for good, sharable data widgets though!

Corey James
July 21, 2008

Another thing that I’d like to see Widgenie improve is the functionality of the “grab me” button. Would be great to see this as an integrated overlay for embed, link, etc. (a la YouTube) instead of clicking to open a new window and choosing from a menu of options on a web page. Definitely some potential for good, sharable data widgets though!

Corey James
July 21, 2008

[…] Widgenie is still in beta, the tool can create six different types of widgets from uploaded data in Microsoft Excel and Comma-Separated Values (CSV) spreadsheets. Widgets […]

Buzz Meter: Widgenie » The Buzz Bin
July 24, 2008

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