Badges? We’ve got badges

Yahoo! News badge preview
Question: What do geeks and Girl Scouts have in common?

Hint: It ain’t just cookies anymore!

Folks in techtopia may not be racing to walk an old lady across the street, but they are getting a little “badge crazy” in an http way.

The badge-mania that afflicted Laura Lippay (of Yahoo!’s Search Engine Optimization group) led her to organize an internal Yahoo! Badge & Web Widget Summit this week. Eighteen presenters and nearly 120 Yahoos (not counting those who opted for the webcast) showed up for an all-day badge bonanza. A “web widget” or “badge” goes by plenty of other names, but despite jargon overload, Yahoos are excited about the opportunities badging presents to increase traffic to Yahoo! sites, as well as get great content to sites off-network.

Here’s a list of projects discussed at the Summit that caught my low-tech fancy. Some are Yahoo! services, some are not.

  • Trick out with Yahoo!. Yahoo! Finance already got into the badge biz a year ago, with charts, tickers, and headlines direct from Yahoo! Finance for publishers to put in blogs or websites. Others joined the fray, including Yahoo! Answers and Yahoo! News.
  • Blogs + Widgets = Blidgets. Why not make my entire blog a web widget for others to post on their blogs? Widgetbox lets me do just that for free – and throws in a metrics dashboard to boot.
  • Facebook. They’ve been making fierce headlines for the past two weeks after introducing the new Facebook platform, which lets developers create fun applications for users. Now I can add a Flickr stream to my profile!
  • Badges for Widgets? There are already thousands of Yahoo! Widgets to choose from in the gallery, and now the team behind those desktop widgets lets us create badges directly from favorites to post on web sites.
  • Can’t roll your own? Pay Clearspring to make ‘em for you. Check out what they did for the NBA: web widgets that are easy to grab and share. Here’s Kobe!

Feel free to leave a comment with your own top picks … after all, it’s the “Year of the Widget.”