I'm a regular reader of Fred Wilson's blog. Fred posted an article today that he is planning to clean house on his blog. He will remove many (if not most) of the widgets that adorn his site.
There was much rejoicing!
I can understand why Fred installed all these widgets in the first place. He's got a natural curiosity and he's a venture capitalist by trade -- and invests in this stuff. There's no better way to get to understand a technology or trend than to actually use it.
But, I'd argue that very few of his blog readers appreciate the widgets (except, perhaps the people that developed them).
Benefits Of Widget Removal And A Cleaner Blog
1. It focuses readers on the core content, which is (hopefully) why they're there.
2. It makes pages load faster. Think of the bandwidth saved across the web!
3. Search engines like Google appreciate fast-loading sites (and possibly reward them with higher rankings).
4. It makes things simpler and more likely to load across a variety of browsers. (Yes, yes, I know things are supposed to work -- but they often don't)
So, if you're a blogger, follow Fred's lead and clean things up a bit. Your readership will thank you.