Sunday, 19 August 2007

Weekend website: Netvibes

It took me a while but at last I found it. The personal start-page that suits me best: Netvibes (www.netvibes.com). It may not be as quick as iGoogle, but it has all the features that I need: access to my emails, my web feeds; my del.icio.us bookmarks; and many useful widgets to add. To set up your own Netvibes start-page visit the site and click on the 'Register now' link.

Many of the websites that you regularly visit will have associated web feeds. Some of these may have a button that you can click to add the site's feed to Netvibes, like this one...
Add to netvibes
If not, you can ask Netvibes to check whether your favourite site has feeds.

  • Copy the URL (web address) of your favourite webpage, e.g. 'http://bloodycomputer.blogspot.com'
  • If you don't see 'Browse content' bar on the left of your Netvibes page, click the 'Add content' link (top left hand of page).
  • Click 'Add a feed'.
  • Paste the URL into the space after 'Link' and click 'Add'.
  • Repeat this process for all your favourite pages.
You can then edit the settings for that feed, or for any of the widgets you have added, by hovering over the title bar of the widget and clicking 'Edit'. I tend to set my feeds to 'Open directly on the site', so that when I click on them, I am taken to the original article. Have a play around and see what you think. If you like Netvibes, set it as your start page and enjoy a personalised newspaper of the information you want.

If you find Netvibes to be too slow for your purposes try iGoogle. For advice on using it see Aidan Henry's excellent article iGoogle: The Epitome of Google Personalization.

There are many other personalised start pages on the web. If you want to learn more read 14 Personalized Homepages Compared, Feature by Feature on Mashable, which is the best source of social networking news and views - definitely worth adding to your Netvibes page.