I was one of the speakers (graveyard slot! *hmph*) earlier this month at Widget Web Expo London, where I whittered on about widgets and gadgets in an enterprise, corporate world.
The most interesting thing (apart from my pearly words of widsom, natch) was the direction that many of the delegates thought the internet would be taking, in particular that widgets were something new that would change the way we all interacted.
We were using this techology at Rio Tinto years ago, through our Plumtree Portal implementation. Plumtree was reliant on "portlets" for users to build intranet communities, which visitors could then view in situ, or tear off and add to their own customised pages.
Well, unfortunately it didn't change the way users interacted with the company intranet. In many ways it was a barrier, and over time the portal fell out of use, although to be fair I think the concept was unfamiliar to people, and our implementation could have been more robust.
We've now replaced Plumtree, and our new portal platform is proving much more successful.
And just to prove that things never really go out of fashion, we're looking at ways of integrating widget technologies into our new portal.
As they say, wait around long enough, stuff just comes back into fashion.