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Completing the Ultimate in Home Page Customization
By: Gabor Bernat
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    Table of Contents:
  • Completing the Ultimate in Home Page Customization
  • Utility
  • Unique features
  • Concluding Thoughts

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    Completing the Ultimate in Home Page Customization - Unique features

    (Page 3 of 4 )

    Now I'd like to talk about what is specific to Netvibes and iGoogle; what makes each one unique? As for Google, it has the advantage of great support from the developing team at each stage. Recently Google released a new option: now you can share your gadget with any of your friends.

    All you need to do is choose from the Options menu to "Share this Widget" and select form the list that appears (based on your current mail/friend list) the ones who will receive a preview of the gadget and the invitations to use it in the Google page. At the same time as this, there has been released a guide as to how to make this option available for all developed gadgets. It all can be done with just a line of code.

    Another option that invites newbies to use Google does the following: if you add a new tab, Google searches in its database for the feeds, gadgets and applications that belong with the name of the newly- created tab and adds them inside of it. Using this method, I was able to create and then fill a tab that offers relaxation by just entering the name "fun."

    After completing this, I had a tab with hangman, Sudoku, Pacman and other flash games, gadgets and applications. Feeds like Joke of the Day or Calvin and Hobbes are also on the house. In a similar way, you can instantly create and fill tabs labeled news, IT, programming, music, film and so on.

    In addition, if you use Google you will have instant access to all of Google's services, like Calendar, Docs, Spreedsheet, and so forth. Moreover, of course, your page will have a dedicated place for the most popular one, the Google search engine. All in all, the main advantage of iGoogle is that a major community is formed around it, with excellent communication within it. It truly has dedicated, friendly and helpful people; and the fact that Google organizes many contests to support the community makes things even better.

    As for Netvibes, its main advantage is from the introduction of the new Ginger platform: social networking. Now every user can create his or her own universe. Prior to the Ginger release, this option was only possible to the important partners like Reuters or 50 Cent, but with Ginger, any user can create a community. 

    You can share you experience using Netvibes, such as the news/songs/games discovered with Netvibes with your entire friends list in a fast and easy way. The method works fine; the universe is rapidly published/updated and available for any Netvibes user. A Timeline and History for all of your activity is something else Netvibes does well. You should not forget that this works also with the long list of devices and software mentioned in the previous section. Be it a mobile phone, smart phone, Mac or PC,  you can enjoy it everywhere anytime.

    Finally, I had to add that Netvibes also allows you to have followers, people who read your public activity updates. Your list of followers is kept near your friends list. Updating and extending your friends list is made simple, with the option to invite friends from almost any social network that counts (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail/MSN, Twitter, Flickr, AIM, and Facebook).

    At the time of writing, the Drive option still had room for improvement, but during the Paris LEVEB 3.0 conference, Netvibes and Agematis (a French storage provider) promised to offer online file storage and a sharing service for up to 2 GB, extendable upon request. The opportunity to use this is planned to be available for both personal pages and Universes.

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