Netvibes and iGoogle Reinventing the Start Page

I’m not lazy, but I like convenience. In terms of the internet, putting all of the content I consume daily on one page is as convenient as it gets. The idea of personalized pages isn’t new. My Yahoo! has let users pick and choose what content would be viewed on their personal page for nearly a decade. Although My Yahoo! was once considered revolutionary, the service hasn’t evolved in pace with the market. For instance, with the exception of RSS feeds, the service restricts users to the confines of mostly Yahoo! provided content.

Net Result – My Yahoo! has seen four consecutive years of declining usage.

Enter the rebirth of the personalized start page, starring NetVibes, iGoogle and PageFlakes. These sites adopted the general My Yahoo! concept and took it a step further by allowing easy, effortless customization and a plethora of widgets, feeds, and podcasts. Everything from checking emails from multiple email clients, to surfing through YouTube can be done on one page.

All indications are that people are into the new level of personalization. Over the last year, Google’s personal page has grown substantially faster compared to My Yahoo!.

New services like NetVibes and PageFlakes are growing even faster, experiencing growth rates of over 5000% and 3000%, respectively.

One could argue that NetVibes is the true evangelist of the new personalized page. They have been aggressively promoting and building their "ecosystem" — an open platform to allow any content provider to create widgets accessible from most widget and blog systems — including Google IG, Apple Dashboard and more. Through the NetVibes ecosystem content providers can build one widget, accessible by everyone.

Here at Compete, we like the open approach so much that we decided to build our own widget using NetVibe’s Universal Widget API (UWA). Note the highlighted region of my NetVibes page below. If you are interested in adding the Compete Widget to your NetVibes page click here.

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