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ReviewSaurus - The Techie Dino!

The Dino which deals in all kind of technical related stuff.

Review of Web 2.0 Startup Page services!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

These days we have got lot of services which help us organize thing better and few of them are Startup Page services or personalised homepages, which help a user to control, manage various online services from one basic page; be it RSS FEEDS, EMAIL, NEWS, IMAGES, BOOKMARKS, ADDRESS BOOK & what not. These startup pages try to bring all this in one page for easier management of various online applications which a user uses on the internet. In recent days we are getting lot of online services which are trying to replace the LOCAL DESKTOP or in short if we can call it WEB 2.0 services and these STARTUP PAGE SERVICES are coming in this category.

These days we have few startup page servcies but only few of them are making mark or if we can say they are majorly higlighted. This is not a new concept at all as at least I seeing it from the MY YAHOO! DAYS but again it became popular when the BIG DADDY of Search engines got into it and we got GOOGLE PERSONALISED HOMEPAGE. Soon, after the release of Google Personalised Hompage we started to get new startup page services like this and now we have lots and lots of them. I'll be reviewing one of them and will mention others but I'll make sure that I'll provide the review of few of them in this post itself (phew! I think I'll need some rest in writing this review.)

Well, here are the services which drove my attention and on which I am going to write the review :

1. PageFlakes
2. Google Personalised HompePage
3. Microsoft's Live
4. NetVibes


Now, I'll start the review of the service.

Review :



1. PageFlakes : http://www.pageflakes.com

An ajax based start page which has got lot of FLAKES (Google calls them modules, Microsoft calls them gadgets, we'll call them CONTENT BOXES) and a nice interface. It has got various content boxes and as this portal is getting popular new and new portals are making the CONTENT BOXES for it. Here are the PROs & CONs of the service, which will make the review a bit easier to read ;)

PRO :

* Nice & Clean Interface.
* Lots of CONTENT BOXES & the list is increasing day by day.
* Better Feed/RSS reader.
* Support for OPML.
* Multiple Pages.

CON :

* Still has less CONTENT BOXES than other services.
* They are missing the CONTENT BOXES community - other services enjoy this kind of thing where developers are making there own community and sharing the CONTENT BOXES. However, they already have there own CONTENT BOXES list but still having a community outsite the main site is always a PRO.

2. Google Personalised HomePage - http://www.Google.com/ig

A portal which brought the BUZZ in the startpage services. It is gifted with a clean look but NOT with a good interface. The biggest disadvantage it has is that it is driven only by ONE PAGE and it will be good to have more PAGES because that will make orgainising of content a little easier.

PRO :

* Great list of modules.
* Nice communities providing the modules - http://www.googlemodules.com
* Has the word GOOGLE behind it :)
* Support of Google Reader - one of the best Online Readers.
* Keeps the search history

CON :

* Not the best of interface. It misses the multiple pages feature.
* Not a good RSS/FEED reader, although it has been taken care of by Google Reader.

3. Micorosft Live

A project on which Microsoft is putting lot of efforts and making sure that people get benefit out of this. Although MSN was their call before this but I think this project is better than MSN because of its cleaner and uncluttered look and best of all with no ADS unlike other microsoft portal.

PRO :

* Nice Interface & clean look - it has multiple pages feature.
* Communities providing the Gadgets (Content Boxes) - http://microsoftgadgets.com/Gallery/
* Allows OPML IMPORT/EXPORT.
* Has the name Microsoft with it.

CON :

* Not the best of RSS READER - doesnt show the number of unread feeds.

4. NetVibes - http://www.netvibes.com

Another contender of startup pages and this one is also as good as PageFlakes. It has nice interface and is much better than that of Google. Although, it gives the feeling of LIVE.COM but still they've managed to make good changes and have given a better look than that of LIVE.COM

PRO :

* Good amount of CONTENT BOXES.
* Has many modules other than the site - CLICK HERE
* Multiple search engine integration.
* Good Rss/Feed support.

CON :

* Same as pageflakes, that it misses the support which Google & Live are getting.

Well, this ends the review of the startup page services.

Other Worthy sites :

* eskobo - http://www.eskobo.com
* MyWebDesktop - http://MyWebDesktop.net
* Protopage - http://Protopage.com
* Start.com - http://Start.com

CONCLUSION : Although, PageFlakes & netvibes are better in the interface, look, design but still they miss the support of worldwide programmers which increase the usability of the startpages and this way Google & Live come up on top. In terms of USABILITY it is Google Personalised Homepage which wins the war, however in terms of looks, interface and upcoming service it is PageFlakes which wins the war.
I'll suggest you that if you are looking for EXTREMELY usable startup page (note that I've highlighted EXTREMELY) then Google is the choice however if you are looking for a decent service and want easier interface then I'll suggest you to go for PageFlakes.





posted by ReviewSaurus, 6:16 AM

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