Looking through my friends streams – I saw a big blurb for:
http://www.subwayfootlongspromo.com/ (notice the comment box isn’t real…)
Which convinces me – Facebook Like Pages are the new Chainletter. And, even better than Chainletter (costs a lot) or Chainletter 2.0 (fills up email boxes), Chainletter NG allows you to check the progression of your meme in real-time, using all the tooling provided by Facebook. As the Facebook comment and like boxes become even more recognizeable, I’d expect this situation will action only increase.
This does seem to help make the case for verifiable identity for widgets – e.g. how do I socially, recognizably mark my widget as genuine for users when they can’t just check the URL bar to see what site they’re on? Unfortunately, it’s hard to come up with some pattern that’s not going to involve browser support, though what the banks have been doing with personalized site access images, and the social networks w/gravatar/avatar style repetition might be helpful (e.g. train users to only submit if they see *their* picture, and if you don’t know what you look like ask the guy next to you…