Monday, July 14, 2008

MoDOT Making Widgets

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Transportation is making widgets.

Once a common economics term to describe hypothetical products, widgets are now a staple in the Internet world. They allow Web users to get information delivered directly to their computer desktops, Web sites, blog pages or personal Internet pages, such as Facebook and MySpace.

MoDOT offers four widgets that provide information on job openings, YouTube videos, blog posts and news releases. A fifth widget provides all four subjects in one. The widgets can be found at

MoDOT is the first Missouri state agency to offer this technology to its Web site visitors.
“Widgets help us provide easy access to transportation information,” said Matt Hiebert, MoDOT web manager. “With a widget, the information comes to you, rather than you having to search for it.”

Visitors just need to click on the Add Widget tab at the bottom of the individual widgets they wish to place. From there, they can choose where to place and display the widget.

“If you have an iGoogle search page, for example, you can keep up with the latest MoDOT news and information with the click of a mouse,” Hiebert said.

The department will be offering more widgets in the near future, such as a desktop widget.“With a desktop widget you don’t even have to be on a browser to get the latest transportation news,” Hiebert said. “It will load directly onto your desktop.”