Have You Tried Netvibes Or Pageflakes?

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Andy Strote at “Context Creative”:http://www.contextcreative.ca/ sent in a request:

Would it be possible to ask whether anyone here is using apps such as “Netvibes”:http://www.netvibes.com/ or “Pageflakes?”:http://www.pageflakes.com/ Any opinions, comparisons etc?

Yes, it would, Andy. You just did.
If you’ve got opinions to share with Andy, feel free to add them as comments below…

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3 thoughts on “Have You Tried Netvibes Or Pageflakes?

  1. David McLachlan

    I’ve long enjoyed personalized start pages. I need a personal service for my personal services!
    Anyways, while it would be fun to do a paper comparing all the 2.0 services with their competitors my larger concern is the willingness of users to commit to this type of offering.
    Jakob Neilsen commented last year (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/portals.html) that it was still rare for users to personalize their portal experience. More recently he commented that while evaluating My Yahoo users he noticed that users had stopped using several of their personalized RSS feeds.(http://www.useit.com/alertbox/newsletters.html) No surprise to all of us who have too many RSS feeds to track and an overflowing inbox.
    Some believe that an even greater level of simplification is required.
    An old web 1.0 service that was ahead of its time – MyLook (mylook.com) understood this early on and went from a netvibes/pagesflakes “customize everything” offering to a more simplified “choose one of 4 templates type offering”. MyLook is one man’s experiment and has some noticeable wonkiness – you can’t get back to the template choices easily – but it did go down some interesting avenues.
    I think the challenge has always been in tailoring buffet like offerings to busy users. I’ve read that Microsoft Word is moving in this direction with simpler template choices rather than endless “add a button” options.
    Fast food restaurants also greatly simplify their offerings. Have you noticed the 6 – 8 “packaged” meals they all seem to offer. They’re very different from the choose everything model of yore and good information architecture to boot.
    Big picture then – users love personalization when it’s made easy for them by things like pre-packaged choices.
    Personally I’ve always thought that a service would do well setting a paid bounty for users who have had their view customized by someone else.
    Anytime I’ve preloaded a family member’s info into a personalized offering like netvibes – it sticks – they don’t go back. They wouldn’t get there on their own but when done for them by an in-house geek who knows their intersests, they don’t want to give it up.
    AOL did something like this a long time ago – $50 for ISP signups but this is different.
    Google, MSN, Netvibes, Pagesflakes, develop some personalized user bountie$ and lets relaunch the fur trade.
    Cheers – David McLachlan

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