UK widgetsphere pioneers

Whoah, this one slipped in under the radar! Two UK web entrepreneur veterans legends have recently tied the knot and are cooking up something that (could be) quite spectacular.

On 6th July 2006 Steve Bowbrick and Ivan Pope publicly announced that Steve was joining the good ship Snipperoo – a Brighton-based start-up aiming to revolutionise the overly-technical process of adding widgets to your blog.

Nothing less than the democratization of widgets is their goal, with their rallying call to the masses “we don’t want no stinkin code'”. :-)

Steve set out their manifesto:

“Never again will you have to cut-and-paste a line (or a paragraph or a page…) of scary-looking code into your blog’s HTML just to add a simple function like a weather ticker or links to your flickr pics or your diary.”

Mainstreaming of widgets

Well, I can see the appeal of this, especially as it applies to me (note lack of widgets in sidebar – it’s perfectly normal you see ;-) ).

Ivan and Snipperoo colleague Jay Gooby were over spreading their meme in Amsterdam the next day at the inaugural Next Web conference – which also featured real elevator pitches (yep, in an elevator) which have been vlogged.

Web heroes come full circle?

For folks too young or dumb to remember the UK Web 1.0 scene: Steve was the founder of pioneering web design firm Webmedia (the UK’s first such business) and the boom era UK email service another.com.

Ivan set up the groundbreaking World Wide Web newsletter in 1993 then sold it to Future Publishing, where he launched .Net magazine (to which I contributed features 1995-97 – ah, nostalgia). He then set up a web design business in 1995 and spun Net Names out of it in 1997. Ivan is also an accomplished artist. And, he was a guest contributor at Content 2.0 last month.

Steve was also the very discerning chair of a half day conference I organised for NMK in June 2005 – Blogging: A Real Conversation – featuring the Observer’s Rafael Behr, Adriana Cronin, Johnnie Moore, and Suw Charman among others…

Brighton, Europe

The Snipperoo team is now four-strong – and they’re looking for offices in Brighton. Get in touch with them if you have any recommendations for where Snipperoo can rest its hat.

As to who coined the term “widgetsphere” – well Ivan did, on 16th June, however he rightly points to others in this “strangely European” new field. In turn, his coinage was mirrored just one day previously by Irishman Fergus Burns with his identification of “widget marketing”.

Watch that space.

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3 responses to “UK widgetsphere pioneers

  1. Pingback: Here comes the widgetsphere » Wagalulu - Microsoft » » Here comes the widgetsphere

  2. This scraper’s blog (the trackback above) seems to be down at the moment, but anyhow, it was from Alex Barnett’s blog that he scraped the post. Alex’s original post is here:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/alexbarn/archive/2006/07/14/666354.aspx

  3. I do not think Ivan was the first to use Widgetsphere, but I find it all fascinating none the less. We have been using the company name and phrase since January of 2006. However we do automate and generate massive amounts of code. Also we can list hundreds of thousands of products on an ecommerce site with look-forward technology as well as piloted search. If there are any questions, let me know.

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