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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thing 28 Customized Home Pages

I explored Pageflakes, Netvibes and iGoogle for this thing. In fact, I created homepages in all of them, three total in iGoogle alone. They all have their attractions and I found that having all of my Web2.0 things on one page made them easier to access. However, I also found that it took a long time loading those pages on my dial up connection at home, so I stripped down one of my iGoogle pages to make it friendlier to the snail speed of my connection there. At work, I stuck with the iGoogle page I had set up previously which includes many gadgets and searches that I use regularly in my interlibrary loan activities.

While exploring Pageflakes, I found that it seems they are on shaky financial ground, so if you're using them, you should be prepared for possible sudden disappearance of your home page. With that in mind, I decided my time would be better spent using other services. That would be a shame as their customized page is very attractive. Netvibes was very nice as well, but with a different look. I liked use of tabs there for various types of activities.

Gadgets on the home page include time and date, a calendar, a timer, sticky notes, weather, current moon phase, word of the day, online English grammar, wikipedia search, google search, latest from Computerworld, CNET Reviews, dictionary/thesaurus, zipcode search, mapquest, website translator, lyrics search, TV Guide, Betty Crocker Recipe of the Day, 101 Cookbooks, WebMD Health, Dell support and JRR Tolkien quote of the day. Also on my homepage are some of my Web2.0 apps, Twitter via BeTwittered, Youtube, Friendfeed, Gmail via gadget, and Facebook.

I made a Blidget for my homepage as well, and also posted it in the sidebar of my blog. This was very easy to do. It might also be used on a web page if you had one, to send people to your blog.

It's nice to know there're a variety of options out there to use free. Customized home pages can put your digital life right at your fingertips, all in one place. That same convenience could be put to use for a library or group of library staff as well, making a place for them to find the information they need to use on a regular basis.



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