Take a look at the widgets universe created by the Repositories support project -- you can see the widgets that they have and information. Some of these are particularly interesting -- I recommend taking a look if you are a researcher or grant write as some of these look like something you'll like.
Organizations are starting to get things together to create widgets to help academicians, authors, and others to build a very powerful PLN (personal learning network) with their igoogle or netvibes. They seem to prefer Netvibes for a couple of reasons - and I maintain an account on both, although I startup on igoogle.
There are Bespoke repository service widgets and repository information widgets. They even have a page to see what these widgets do (also in this post.)
Every modern student (and professor and teacher) should understand how to build a PLN.