OpenID is an open, decentralized standard for authenticating users which can be used for access control, allowing users to log on to different services with the same digital identity where these services trust the authentication body. OpenID replaces the common login process that uses a login-name and a password, by allowing a user to log in once and gain access to the resources of multiple software systems. The term OpenID can also refer to an ID used in the standard.

An OpenID is in the form of a unique URL, and is authenticated by the user's 'OpenID provider' (that is, the entity hosting their OpenID URL). The OpenID protocol does not rely on a central authority to authenticate a user's identity. Since neither the OpenID protocol nor Web sites requiring identification may mandate a specific type of authentication, non-standard forms of authentication can be used, such as smart cards, biometrics or ordinary passwords.

OpenID authentication is now used and provided by several large websites. Providers include for instance AOL, BBC, Google, IBM, Microsoft, MySpace, Orange, PayPal, VeriSign, or Yahoo!

OpenSocial is a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) for web-based social network applications, developed by Google along with MySpace and a number of other social networks. It was released November 1, 2007. Applications implementing the OpenSocial APIs will be interoperable with any social network system that supports them, including features on sites such as, MySpace, orkut, Friendster, Ning and Yahoo!.

Based on HTML and JavaScript, as well as the Google Gadgets framework, OpenSocial includes four APIs for social software applications to access data and core functions on participating social networks.

Each API addresses a different aspect: one is the general JavaScript API, one for People and Friends (people and relationship information), one for Activities (publishing and accessing user activity information), and one for Persistence (simple key-value pair data for server-free stateful applications). OpenSocial is currently in alpha development. The initial version of the API that was made public was 0.5, the latest Version 0.9 was released on April 16, 2009.

OpenSocial was rumored to be part of a larger social networking initiative by Google code-named "Maka-Maka", which is defined as meaning "intimate friend with whom one is on terms of receiving and giving freely" in Hawaiian.


In computing a web widget is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation. They are derived from the idea of code reuse. Other terms used to describe web widgets include: gadget, badge, module, webjit, capsule, snippet, mini and flake. Web widgets usually but not always use DHTML, JavaScript, or Adobe Flash.

Widgets often take the form of on-screen tools (clocks, event countdowns, auction-tickers, stock market tickers, flight arrival information, daily weather etc).

A widget is a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship (e.g. a webpage, blog, or profile on a social media site). Widgets are fun, engaging, and useful applications that allow users to turn personal content into dynamic web apps that can be shared on just about any website. For example, a "Weather Report Widget" could report today's weather by accessing data from the Weather Channel, it could even be sponsored by the Weather Channel. Should you want to put that widget on your own Facebook profile, you could do this by copying and pasting the embed code into your profile on Facebook.

Embeddable chunks of code have existed since the early development of the World Wide Web. Web developers have long sought and used third party code chunks in their pages. Early web widgets provided functions such as link counters and advertising banners.

Widgets may be looked upon as downloadable applications which look and act like traditional apps but are implemented using web technologies including JavaScript, Flash, HTML and CSS. Widgets use and depend on web APIs exposed either by the browser or by a widget engine such as Widgetbox, Widsets, Akami, WebWag or Plusmo.
Certain sites, such as Widgetbox, allow users to easily create widgets from their own content with no coding knowledge necessary.

Usage in Social Media, mutually assured advantage

End users primarily use widgets to enhance their personal web experiences, or the web experiences of visitors to their personal sites.

The use of widgets has proven increasingly popular, where users of social media are able to add stand-alone applications to blogs, profiles and community pages. widgets add utility in the same way that an iPhone application does. The developers of these widgets are often offering them as a form of sponsored content, which can pay for the cost of the development when the widget's utility maps to the user's needs in a way where both parties gain. (e.g. a sports news brand might gain awareness and increased audience share in exchange for the utility of current game scores being instantly and dynamically available - the blog which posted the Sports score widget might gain in having a stickier site).

Element of Control One important factor with Widgets, is that the host does not control the content. The host does however control the placement of the Widget. Because, the host can always take the Widget down, it assures a large degree of mutual advantage and satisfaction with performance and content.

Security considerations

As any program code, widgets can be used for malicious purposes. One example is the Facebook “Secret Crush” widget, reported in early 2008 by Fortinet as luring users to install Zango adware.

Widget management systems

Widget management systems offer a method of managing widgets that works on any web page, such as a blog or social networking home page. Many blog systems come with built in widget management systems as plug-ins. Users can obtain widgets and other widget management tools from various widget companies.

Mobile Web widget

A Mobile Web widget is a web widget that is made or designed for access on mobile device.