I’ve been a faithful user of iGoogle for a long time. It’s been my home page through several different browsers.
And now it’s going away.
Some of you may ask, “what is iGoogle?” Never mind. It’s going away. For those of you who used it and are looking for something to replace it when Google pulls the plug next year, I’ve found something I really like. For those of you who have no clue, let me ‘splain, Lucy.
iGoogle is a user-definable homepage that Google offers. It aggregates the RSS feeds from wherever you’d like. For instance, on my iGoogle page, I have three columns. Gmail is in the upper left, followed by three different Tech blogs. The middle column is local weather, headlines, Mashable, and 3 different bloggers. The far right column starts with Fox News (appropriate, eh?) and then entertainment news, People.com and 3 different music-related blogs. In one quick look I get the headlines from all the areas in which I have interest. That’s great, except that Google has made the cock-eyed decision to discontinue the service in 2013. No one seems to know why. In my opinion (and many others as well), it’s a dumb move.
In a few quick searches this afternoon, I could see that the Internet is alive with many people asking about a good alternative to iGoogle. I believe I have landed on NetVibes.com. NetVibes does everything that iGoogle did, but on a much larger scale. You can see on the picture here (click it for a larger version) that it offers a ton of information on one screen. Here you see my Technology homepage (yes, I know Mashable is not necessarily a tech site. I’m still configuring). Notice across the top that there are tabs for different categories. All of this is configurable to your hearts delight.
I can easily add new categories (tabs) and new sections within each category. It was extremely simple to add new stuff. I didn’t even need to know the actual URL for the RSS or Atom feed. I just entered the website or even just the name and it found it for me automatically.
The look is entirely configurable as well. What you see here is the basic list feed. You can go even more simpler than this and do the “reader” version. Or you can do more. They offer layouts from magazine-styled all the way to news tickers. It’s really pretty cool. And the best news? The basic version is FREE.
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to go running all over the Internet to find the information you want, NetVibes.com is a great option. If I had known about this earlier, iGoogle would have been gone already. Now I see why they decided to discontinue it. And it actually surprises me that Google hasn’t bought them out.
How does it look to you?