Brad Stone of the NY Times writes about MySpace’s widget restrictions. Lots of people want access to the traffic, but MySpace is seeking to control who or what makes money on its site. TechCrunch has written in the past about MySpace and its widget-blocking, which is not total but widespread. (The company owns SpringWidgets.)
The larger issue, which is more interesting to me, is that on the Internet there are some big sharks and then there are lots of lampreys. I don’t mean to imply too much about the lampreys other than that they have to rely on the sharks for food. The sharks of course are the big sites and destinations where consumers routinely go. The lampreys generally are everybody else who needs and wants traffic and is having trouble getting attention and so must turn to these syndication strategies.
The rise of the “widget economy” is partly a function of that reality. Another way to look at this is as the tension between “Web 1.0” and “Web 2.0.”
Related: Yesterday’s post, “The Portalization of MySpace,” discusses eMarketer data reflecting that the “portals” are grabbing the bulk of ad dollars online.