Personalized Home Pages
March 14, 2007
We’ve all got our own “Home” pages. It’s the default “Home” setting on our Internet browser — that is, the page that opens first whenever you double-click on your Internet browser, or when you click on the “Home” icon. Mine is Google Reader (but used to be CNN.com), while my partner’s is WashingtonPost.com.
But didn’t you ever want to personalize your own home page so that it shows what you want it to show, like local weather and news, a calculator, the next three months, selected stock quotes, a list of your latest emails, etc?
Oh yes, you can. Several web services out there allow you to sign up and create personalized home pages. Most of them use AJAX or Flash technology, and nearly all of them use widgets — modules or boxes that can be displayed on your personalized home page (i.e., a box with a calendar, another box with a “Photo of the Day” from Yahoo, yet another box showing the latest Proud Geek blog posts – yeah yeah!). Some of them allow you to create multiple pages — i.e., one dedicated to news (i.e., with boxes showing the latest news from different newspapers), another for financial info (i.e., stock quotes, financial news, Dow Jones charts), yet another with local stuff (i.e., interactive map, weather, movie info).
(Note: this is different from Widgets that you can put onto your computer’s desktop — but which often end up being covered up by the programs that you are using — like those by Yahoo’s Konfabulator, the new Microsoft Vista, and Google Desktop.)
Here are some of the major web services allowing you to sign up and create personalized home pages. Of all these, My Yahoo is perhaps the oldest and the widest-used. It was recently and significantly updated, so if you haven’t used it in a while, do check it out. (I’ve tried some of these out, but I keep coming back to MyYahoo and Google.) I’m not including ALL of the various personalized home page services — there are just too many nowadays — only the more well-known ones.
Go forth and make it personal! And yes, take it personally! Except for MyYahoo and Google, the rest are ranked in alphabetical order. Pageflakes, Netvibes, and Yourminis are the smaller and coolest of the bunch. If you know of or recommend any good ones, leave a comment and I’ll add those to the list.
- MyYahoo (current users: click here to upgrade to the newest version)
- Google IG (I’m not too sure what IG stands for …)
- MSN Live
- My AOL
- MyNetscape (recently updated)
[EDIT 3/14/07: In response to a comment from a co-founder of Goowy, the parent company of Yourminis, I just added Yourminis to the cool bunch - in fact, it's definitely the coolest-looking and coolest-feeling personalized home page I've tried thus far. However, unless I'm missing something, it doesn't have an extensive library of user-customized widgets like Netvibes and Pageflakes. Correct me if I'm wrong. On the other hand, I rarely use user-customized widgets -- I'm more traditional, I guess. But why can't any of the cool guys pull my Google Reader stuff?](Many thanks to TechCrunch for the latest info on this.)