Widgets.com – Looking for Widgets

Since the Widgets.com auction on Ebay didn’t reach its reserve, Rick Schwartz opted to develop the name, and Widgets.com has softly launched. The site is currently seeking widget submissions in exchange for cash prizes:

“Starting In May! Widget Contests! Exciting CASH Prizes!!Widgets.com Presents Weekly Contests For College Students
To Develop The Most Innovative Widgets!
E-Mail Contests@Widgets.com For Details!”

I think this is a cool idea, and I think they could even take it a step further. Yesterday afternoon, I spent a few minutes searching for a flight tracking widget. When I develop Burbank.com, I am going to devote a page to Burbank’s growing airport, and I thought it would be neat and helpful to include a flight tracking widget. Well… no dice. It doesn’t look like anyone has made a flight tracking widget for use on another website.
I would like to suggest that Widgets.com allow people to post requests for widgets. They could create a contest forum where website owners (like myself) could post a request for a widget in exchange for a fee. The buyer could choose to pay extra to keep it as an exclusive widget, or they can pay a reduced fee and allow others to use that widget.   I think this could create stickiness to the site.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. I don’t think Rick really knows what he’s doing. Heck, look at his “developed” sites: Still nothing more than banners and advertisements. Sure, he got lucky and found some solid gold nuggets 10 years ago, but his actions today – in an environment where he now has to actually compete – are weak.

    So, why no discussion on why he cheated on his own auction mechanism and organization (TRAFFIC) and listed widgets.com on eBay?

    I think the auction was more to prove a point rather than sell it. Just by keeping the names he kept and selling the few names for the prices he sold them at, I can say that Rick does know what he is doing. Regarding development, I am sure he is learning just like many of us. There are plenty of bumps in the road and it’s not one of these things someone can magically master over night.
    Whether he builds the best widget site or not, he has the best domain name and will make money regardless. Building anything will increase his traffic and revenue.

  2. Widgets.com is going to be tough to develop.
    One of the best characteristics about a mega-generic is the direct navigation traffic. That traffic tells you how to develop the name (of course, there are exceptions like Amazon.com and Kayak.com) The public “told us” how to develop our Whisky.com, Daycare.com, Nashville.com and Kennel.com.
    But Widgets.com? I’m curious to see where Rick goes with it.

  3. Just clicked through for a while, but can’t really find anything worthwhile besides adsense, hope it converts well for him.

    Widgets.com is pretty cool for a portal, or a online shop for a big company.

    Knowing the little I know about this, the website isn’t nearly finished yet.

  4. @Jon: Sorry, but luck had nothing to do w/Rick “finding” the gold nuggets he’s bought, sold, and profited from over the years.
    He knew exactly what he was doing and why…and was absolutely correct in what the future would one day hold for prime .com domains.
    Saying successful people were “just lucky” only serves to hold us back from our own successes…by making it seem that only if we’re lucky can we hope to succeed big…when what is actually needed is a lot of hard, smart work.
    Best to save luck for the lottery.

  5. I looked at Property.com and Widgets.com yesterday and Rick has some real potential in what he can do with these great names. Two suggestions; First, he should have kept his blog going because his friends in this field would have offered some great suggestions there publically. It’s free advice and he could use it or leave it.
    Secondly, he should have a prominent link on Widgets.com that allows his visitors to express what they want to find there. He knows that his public will dictate where he must go. Place a link that reads “Give Us Your Feedback” or “Tell Us What You Would Like at Widgets.com” much like what Elliot asked. He has to start the excitement and run with it.

  6. Widgets.com is a great domain! Any time someone writes about a generic tool, they call it a widget.
    Maybe he should partner with someone who has the tech knowledge to realize the real gold in this domain.

  7. I truly apologize if this sounds too harsh but that site looks like its already been up since 1995 and would’nt encourage me to click anything but the back button and never visit it again. JMHO

    Apart from the theory, “make it really ugly so people click an ad link and leave real quick” I really don’t understand why some owners (not just RS) that value their domains in the millions of dollars are not willing to spend even 10K to pay a qualified developer to built a kiss ass site with quality content/products that would encourage advertisers and visitors to participate and actually buy something.

    To me poor development on premium domains makes as much sense as parking a Bugatti Veyron in a building site, it will likely do much more damage than good. JMHO and sorry for being so blunt.

    …..what am I missing here ?

    Much like you wouldn’t bring your Bugatti to just any car dealer, you wouldn’t give your web development project to just anyone. It’s difficult to find someone who is good, trustworthy and cost effective. I am lucky to have found someone, but had I gone with a few others, I could have been stuck with a poor website and a large bill.
    While I do think Widgets.com is going to change, keeping as such requires less work than building an actual business. I also believe there is less legal risk when you develop than when you passively hold a name and park it. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

  8. first time I saw widgets was at apple.com…go check out what’s available and it shows widgetsdotcom has tons of potential…widgets have not peaked yet and very soon alot of what you use on your computers and devices will be in widgets form

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