VentureBeat readers may have already seen these widgets in action — most notably, President Barack Obama’s transition team used Blist to share Obama’s donor list on the Change.gov website. Apparently, Blist Widgets have also been used by the Washington Technology Industry Association and the TechFlash news site. Now Blist is officially making the widgets available to everyone else.
The Widgets fall into two broad categories: Grid Widgets, which are basically embeddable Blist spreadsheets, and Form Widgets, embeddable forms that companies can use to collect information that feeds directly into a Blist spreadsheet. This makes Blist more useful to businesses, who can share project and sales reports, or collaborate on a contact list, or share to-do lists, either internally or externally. To use a VentureBeat-specific exmaple, I frequently include information from spreadsheets in my posts, but I either have to take a screenshot or share it through a service like Docstoc. Blist Widgets make those spreadsheets collaborative, as well as being easier to sort and search.
Blist Widgets sound like the best demonstration so far of how Blist’s power — sure, Blist’s simplicity and ease-of-use is already compelling, but that only counts for so much when the service is locked into a single site. Imagine seeing Blist Widgets all over — certainly, the Obama team’s endorsement is a good start. And as chief executive Kevin Merritt notes, by making it easier to share information, Blist Widgets could become a powerful tool for government transparency.
Blist raised a $6.5 million first round a year ago.