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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Google Promoting Social iGoogle Gadgets

Google is currently pushing social gadgets via a link from their homepage. The promo reads “New! Post updates and play games with friends on iGoogle”, and points to a special page listing gadgets with social features – like multiplayer games or “what are you doing right now” status messagers.

Each social gadget displays a special multi-user icon in its top right, and has to be initially granted access via two privacy setting checkboxes. The Updates and Friends sections in the left-hand navigation of (where you can see updates from your friends, and define who your friends are in the first place) do the rest to turn this into a bit of yet another social network/ messaging service. This iGoogle push may be a bit late to the party (Google’s own OpenSocial as well as other services have been around for a while), but Google got loads of users to give this an extra boost.

If you’re curious about how these social gadgets are programmed, you can take a look at the XML source of gadgets, which in turn hold the respective HTML/ JavaScript/ stylesheets. For instance, in the GoComics gadget source, you’ll notice the line <Require feature="opensocial-0.8" /> in the code. More info is available at Google’s Gadgets API site.

Also see: An iGoogle Preview With Friends Features, Expandable Views, and Social iGoogle Tested in Australia.


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