November 19, 2008
One of the turning points in Kung Fu Panda comes in a conversation between Po, the panda who becomes the Dragon Warrior, and his father, Mr Ping, the goose who makes noodle soup. Ping tells Po something he should have told him a long time ago. No, it isn’t what you might assume from what I’ve just told you.
Anyway, just before that turning point for Po, Ping identifies a turning point for noodle soup: “the future of noodles is dice cut vegetables, no longer slices.” Meanwhile, on the web, the booming widget economy shows the promise of small content that can go anywhere.
Yes, I am using the metaphor of noodle soup for the web. And, in choosing that particular quote/link, I am casting Steve Rubel in the role of the old goose. I hope that Steve won’t be offended, especially given the importance of the Ping role, and the incredible resume of James Hong, who provides the voice in the movie.
If the web is noodle soup, then widgets are its dice-cut vegetables. Widgets are microchunks of content that can go anywhere on the web. If you want to see a one-minute movie illustrating widgets, I offer the biased recommendation of The Clearspring Chronicles, Volume 1. Clearspring is a particular widget platform, but not much in the video is really specific to that platform.
I’ve already offered an implicit recommendation for Kung Fu Panda, which just came out on DVD. I intend to make that recommendation explicit in a further post.