Great article: widgets are a somewhat recent trend that effectively makes the old mistake of trying to please everyone at the same time.
Bombarding the user may look like a good idea, but we need to remember that they have the ability to ignore clutter and only focus on what is interesting to them (rather than what you or your client want them to be interested in). It's all to easy to fall into the trap of wishful thinking.
A nice way to figure out if your widgets are useful is to add Google analytics tracking to links/buttons/interactive elements and see what people are interacting with and what they aren't (assuming they are not something passive like a tweeter stream).
If you're not getting a whole lot of hits on the widgets, maybe you should reconsider whether they should be there.