I see three areas where there seems to be great potential, but are not very widespread yet (even though some are ancient).
Canvas is a HTML element. It is used most by Apple and the Safari browser of the iPhone. Canvas basically allows you to “script” images. If someone wants to be proficient in a skill that will have massive usefulness to gadgets in the future, I suggest this skill highly, and it is underrepresented, and the need for this skill can only grow. It isn’t rocket science, but it is becoming more important every day.
Huh? Am I crazy? While “feeds” is a general term, and is supposedly well known, content distribution strategy is lacking experts. Virtually anyone who builds something with feeds (like a gadget) stays with whatever worked for them, and tend to not reach out to learn about other ways to implement and parse feeds. You would be surprised to know that there are not many people who have dedicated their time and effort into “feeds” and content distribution as a specialty, not just the technical ways of parsing, but rather current knowledge of interaction with emerging platforms and techniques.
Gadgets are content distribution.
Feeds are perhaps the most used feature of gadgets and is a skill that someone can realistically conquer. If you have a solid grasp of the technical know how of content distribution, you could become king of an emerging niche skill set. A dedicated person whose stays on top of the ways to spread content via feeds and who lives and breathes to stay current in this skill would be ridiculously useful, but are feed experts underrepresented? hmmm…
Can you name 30 ways to parse a feed? Are you current on ways to implement the Google AJAX Feeds API? Do you know the best way to distribute content with iUI? Can you confidently consult on a feed/gadget project that needs to use resources well because it has twenty thousand feeds and millions of views?
Probably not, but a feed expert would, but I just can’t find many. (btw… the AJAX feed API is about to become very important, I recommend at least a cursory look at it, oh, and the iUI developer Google group only has 29 members… hmmm)
3) Cross platform strategy
I fancy myself as someone who is into this, but there exists plenty of room for anyone who can effectively control the distribution of gadgets across all possible platforms. I think that any gadget that does well in one platform can cross over and do well in another. Have you noticed that each time a platform opens up it is always the same small group of gadgets that blazes the way? (Slide, ILike, etc.) guess what? those people get it. They are just itching to get their gadgets on every possible platform, but they are also something else… in-house. You are not going to find any of them explaining or consulting others on how to effectively go cross platform.
How many gadget strategy experts can you name? While there are a couple names like Niall Kennedy and Ivan Pope that stand out, but how many people actually name 10 or more companies that can handle the creation of enterprise level gadgets? How many know how incredibly simple it is to make your web property into a iPhone application? How many people can tell you how to spread your widget after it is created? How many people can tell you before you spend your budget on a widget it’s chance of success? I can, Niall and Ivan can too.
Probably not. The people who dedicate their time to becoming familiar with not just which platforms can display your widgets, but also what methods of promotion work best within each platform, and how to attain large usage and retention via design and functionality are useful people.
I can’t name even 10 people who could be considered widget promotion experts who have a solid knowledge of more than one platform, and I am pretty familiar with the gadget world.