I’ve been sadly neglecting my blogging duties (long week) but thanks to some Javascript magic inspired by Lightbox I have managed to solve one of the key challenges for the widget itself, namely, how to make them trivially viral.  The key was finding Lightbox Gone Wild, which is like the standard Lightbox used by Bingo Card Creator for displaying screenshots, except it allows arbitrary HTML content in the lightbox. 

I love it when other people do my work for me.

Anyhow, this lets me include a little unobtrusive link on every widget to tell you about it and get the widget source code, which will display the code inline on the target page, both encouraging folks with sites to not be annoyed by the widgets (since I am not siphoning off their viewers) and encouraging spread of the widgets (because you don’t have to drop what you’re doing to learn about the widget). 

As mentioned, I have a prototype — essentially, its the Javascript front-end to generic widget display and virality.  Unfortunately, at the moment, I don’t have the back end ready, which makes the front end difficult to show.  So here is one of my tasks for the weekend: I can trivially get a back end working specific to Bingo Card Creator, which will allow me to code up a Top Bingo Cards widget. and show folks all the spiffy interface goodness with perfectly servicable widget code.  My hope is to have that up in the next two days, suitable for production use by blogging teachers and bingo enthusiasts everywhere.  (Plus, score, it will start driving business value for me even without having the widget creator website up.)

Then I get back to work writing the web application that allows user friendly creation of widgets without having to do the backend in Rails yourself.  I’ll also need all the ancillary stuff — account management, billing, homebrewed analytics to supplement Google Analytics and Clicky (no point in being viral if you can’t tell how viral you are), scaleability, marketing copy, a blog and some evergreen articles to start it off, yadda yadda yadda.

I’m going to be very busy this weekend but I’m loving it.