Google has always had a number of Gadgets available to spiff up your Google HomePage or Desktop, but they are now making them available to website owners to dress up their pages:
Google Gadgets are miniature-sized objects that offer cool and dynamic content that can be placed on any page on the web. A directory of “Google Gadgets for your webpage” is now available for webpage owners everywhere to browse and select gadgets for their own pages, at http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open.
“Now anyone can have a great-looking website with automatically updating content,” said Adam Sah, Google Gadgets Architect. “By making Google Gadgets available for you to add to your webpage, we’re working to connect developers with enthusiastic consumers and to make information universally accessible and useful to the individual user.”
With almost no effort and at no cost, webpage owners can add complex, dynamically updating content to their own websites using Google Gadgets. Because there is such an enormous variety of Google Gadgets to choose from, webmasters also have a great deal of freedom to select only the gadgets that will best complement their own page. There are games, news clips, weather reports, maps, and more.
There are over 1200 of the Gadgets (most provided by 3rd parties) and I suspect the biggest problem is figuring out which ones to choose. Below are a few that amused me, but I do have to note that loading speed will vary since they are hosted on the 3rd party websites. You may have to refresh the page a couple of times to see all three Gadgets that I have embedded. Also, they seemed to interact oddly with my stylesheet and I wasn’t able to control the heights of the windows as you can see. (Update: that problem now seems to be fixed.)