1.18.2007

Switching to a personalized desktop - my dashboard for life

I've been a Firefox user for about two years now and I love it. I can't even remember what it was like to use MSN's Explorer browser. The default homepage for Firefox is a modified version of the Google homepage and that was all I ever really needed but a while back I got to messing around with Google's personalized homepage to see if I would like it. I didn't. Actually, it wasn't that I didn't like it, I just didn't know if I needed it. I was interested to know how Google's personalized homepage compared to some of the competitors in that market so I also looked at Netvibes and Pageflakes but none of these really seemed to be of significant value to me either for the same reasons. There was anything wrong with any of them, I just wasn't ready to use them. Now, however, things have changed.

In an effort to continue to consolidate information as much as possible I'm officially a Google personalized homepage user and am really liking it. I've got my Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Notebook, Google Reader (do you see a trend here?), and weather widgets all arranged on the page just like I want it. I've got a few other widgets there too like a Wikipedia search bar and a Bible verse of the day. I've created a tab with all the "news" stuff I'm interested in from numerous outlets so I can just jump over there and see the top stories from those areas.

With all the information we have available to us today the issue is no longer content, but filters and context (I got that from The Long Tail). A personalized homepage is serving to be a great filter for me to see a lot of information in a short amount of time with very little effort once it's all set up.

If you find yourself visiting the same blogs and news outlets on a daily basis you might want to do yourself a favor and roll it all up into one location with a personalized page. Since it's a web application so you can have it both at home and the office too. What else could you ask for?

5 comments:

Jon Haarstad said...

Like you I've recently found great value in a custom home page. Being a bonafide tech-news junkie I've really enjoyed Netvibes where I can sort and arrange everything quickly. - Jon at WebShopTalk.com

Greg Atkinson said...

I, too, use Google for my homepage. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

Bill, your blog keeps me current (and cool). I made myself a personalized Google homepage and all the other editors now have one too. Comments are flying: "Best thing ever!" "Up-to-the minute UFO sightings!" "This is soooo great!"

Anonymous said...

Bill, I guess I should tell you this is Andrea from Outreach magazine.:)

Bill Seaver said...

Thanks for the comments Jon, Greg, and Andrea.