Review: Netvibes – RSS exhaustion

I’m tired! It doesn’t matter how fast I read I never seem to be able to catch up. It is actually making me feel rather stressed out. What am I talking about? Keeping up with blogs and RSS feeds. There are two main reasons I am subscribed to tons of feeds:

1. I am doing research on blogging (I have to be in the middle of the heat and stay up-to-date right?)

2. I am an information junkie (I want to know what’s happening and where and why and I want to know it all!)

To organize my feeds I started out with Feedreader, but in November it was time to try some new programs which I wrote about in a post titled “Review: Feedreader, Google Reader, Bloglines, Thunderbird RSS Reader.” In a comment Fabian suggested trying Netvibes and I have been using it ever since. Netvibes is an Ajax portal (refreshed feeds on the spot) which is completely customizable in the way it looks and how feeds are displayed. It allows me to keep my scattered digital self in once place with Google Mail, del.icio.us, MySpace and tons of other modules. You can drag and drop your feeds and modules and make different pages with tabs to keep everything sorted by topic. BusinessLogs actually lists Netvibes in their top 10 “The Web’s Best Interface Design.”

Every page or blog you visit which has a RSS feed can easily be added to Netvibes using their Firefox extension. Just a click on a button and you are subscribed to the feed and it will display on your Netvibes page. I love it. The only downside is, that because it is so easy I ended up subscribing to more stuff that I could actually keep up with. So this morning it was time for some housekeeping. I unsubscribed from dozens of feeds I hardly read anymore by simply clicking the close button. I am better organized now and I hope I can keep my finger off the Netvibes button to add more feeds :)

One thought on “Review: Netvibes – RSS exhaustion

  1. You might also be interested in a brand new start page available called Funky Homepage (http://www.FunkyHomepage.com). It’s comprised mainly of Google gadgets (as well as Gadgets from other sources), live news feeds (with your choice of news provider), daily Bushisms, daily jokes, horoscopes, videos, RSS feed reader, weather (up to 5 locations), interactive calendar, Google calendar viewer (for up to 5 Google calendars), comic strips and lots more besides. It also lets you choose your own search engine, colour scheme, etc.

    Unlike many of the other personalised start pages available, there’s no need to create an account and it’s all already set up for you, with the most popular gadgets organised by category and sub-category. So there’s virtually no setting-up work required by the user, making it ideal for the mainstream audience and those (like me) who can’t be bothered to do all the work of setting up their own page. More adventurous (and less lazy) users can choose to add their own Google gadgets and RSS feeds, but most people just use the gadgets and tools provided.

    Unlike Netvibes, PageFlakes and all the other AJAX powered home pages, Funky Homepage does not use a drag and drop interface. Instead it allows you to select from a drop-down list of the most “popular” gadgets and feeds – “popular” according to the Google gadgets most popular list, that is. As such, it’s not really intended to compete with the flexibility of Netvibes and PageFlakes, but instead is intended to address a gap in the market for those who want something a bit more funky than Google or Yahoo, but without all the setting up required of Netvibes and Pageflakes. So only the most popular gadgets are offered. Although it still maintains a large degree of flexibility for the more adventurous users, allowing them to enter their own feeds and gadgets, should they wish. Whether you like it or hate it, at least it offers an alternative from the plethora of AJAX-powered homepages that are now available.

    It’s free to use and you can check it out at http://www.funkyhomepage.com

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