Visa Sponsors New Forbes Widgets

Forbes is joining the widget frenzy, with a little help from Visa.

With the publisher’s new “Widgetbox Showcase” offerings, exclusively sponsored by Visa Small Business, readers of Forbes.com can choose up to eight modules containing Forbes content. The widgets can be easily imported to personal Web media such as Web sites, social networking sites, blogs and desktops. No download is required, just a few mouse clicks.

The widgets were jointly created by Forbes and Widgetbox, said Michael Smith, Forbes.com’s general manager of operations. He said the duo is working on creating many additional modules. “We are going to be releasing a great deal more widgets,” said Smith. “We plan to expand our deployment of widgets by orders of magnitude.”

Currently, the Forbes.com Widget Channels are “Breaking News,” “Lifestyle,” “Technology,” “Business,” “Entrepreneurs,” “Stock to Watch,” “Top Lists” and “Latest Video.” Five of the widgets provide hyperlinked story headlines and blurbs pulled from corresponding Forbes.com RSS feeds, as well as links to Forbes.com videos on the subject.

On the “Stock to Watch” widget, a Forbes.com personal finance editor offers daily suggestions and details their best stock of the day. The widget links to a newsletter or story supporting the choice and to the three latest “Stock of the Week” videos.

The “Top Lists” widget includes top “fives” from selected Forbes lists, and the “Latest Video” widget includes the five latest Forbes.com Markets videos.

Forbes.com President and CEO Jim Spanfeller, in a statement announcing the widgets, said Visa Small Business is “the perfect launch sponsor,” because small business owners are often constrained for time “and can benefit from being able to designate their own access points to critical news and information every day.”

The company said it believes the widgets will be a good way to extend the Forbes brand across the Web through viral adoption as the modules are shared. He would not say how much Visa is paying for its widget sponsorship.

In a statement, Visa Vice President of Online and Emerging Media Jon Raj said the company is continuously seeking innovative ways to reach cardholders and added the partnership with Forbes.com “is a great way to deliver relevant content in a new way.”

Visa’s full sponsorship package also included placements on Forbes.com’s Entrepreneurs channel, other ads targeted based on company size, and a mobile sponsorship, said Forbes’ corporate communications director Emily Kutner.

Smith said Widgetbox’s role includes a “reporting functionality” to Visa. “As you can imagine, we as a publisher have an obligation to Visa to report on viewership, among other things,” he said.

This story has been updated to correct a minor inaccuracy. An earlier version said Forbes.com would not seek widget sponsors other than Visa, which is not the case.

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