Posted June 9, 2008 10:03 am by with 9 comments

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It seems investors have been reading the National Retail Organization’s suggestion that 55% of e-tailers want to focus more of their marketing dollars on widgets.

After recently banking $50 million on widget maker Slide, VCs are back, this time investing $35 million in rival RockYou.

The $35 million likely brings RockYou’s valuation under fellow widget maker Slide’s, which was $550 million in its last $50 million round from two private equity funds. It’s also less than a reported $50-$70 million on a $400 million valuation that RockYou was supposedly seeking. An insider spun this difference in valuation with Slide as a positive thing, though, telling us it would make RockYou a more digestible acquisition target.

$550 million valuation for a widget builder? With widgets still somewhat unproven as a marketing channel, could this be a bubble? Have you had success marketing with widgets? Leave a comment. Thanks!

  • I’ve had better success creating and promoting viral widgets (made by my company) than any other promotional technique I’ve ever tried. Creating and promoting your own widget not only gives you a better ability to determine the anchor text used to link back to you, but it makes each person who adopts your widget a promoter for you. Widgets create a self sustaining viral loop that is magnitudes more effective for link building and traffic than a front page digg. One of my viral widgets got me 15k+ backlinks, and none that I have done has done worse than several hundred backlinks.

  • Hmm this could be a good investment. We are certainly fans of RockYou as they keep coming up with new and innovative little widgets.

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  • I’ve played with both WidgetBucks, and Chitika, and have been somewhat underwhelmed with their performance. I’ve found that your better off as an affiliate if your traffic is targeted enough.

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  • PS3

    Chitika is not something I’ve tried as yet, what makes feel underwhelmed about them? Anythign specific you can share?

  • I haven’t used widgets yet but have heard of the success Trulia is having from them. Seems like they’re really helping the company consistently reach new levels.

    If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a bubble – some webmasters are starting to put nofollow attributes on widgets and or removing them from their site altogether. Widgets are likely half as valuable if they don’t give link juice back to the website.

    I think they are extremely valuable but I’m not sure they’ll live up to the hype.

  • The new widgets came from RockYou are of great interest for me. I think it may be a great investment indeed. We’ll see

  • We at Linkstorm believe that all widget makers will succeed or fail according to how useful their widgets really are to the user, versus how loudly they shout the advertiser’s message. That’s why our CokeTag widget (platform, really) that Andy cited is so “barely branded” that people can create them with hardly a hint of Coke’s presence. See

  • I interest in new RockYou gadgets.

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